Safety, communication and a little rain for new Genesee County Jail project

Sometimes no action can be a good thing, especially when it comes to construction sites.

Project Executive Mark Bollin, of The Pike Company, shared that during his Genesee County Jail progress report to the county’s Public Service Committee this week.

“As it relates to safety, there have been no lost-time accidents at all. And all the contractors continue to abide by the OSHA requirements and their own safety plans, contracts, bonds and insurances,” he said. “All prime contracts have been fully executed, the contract for the special inspections and testing has been finalized and executed. With the stormwater prevention plan, there’s been no issues.”

Those housekeeping details have helped to ensure a good flow of communication, he said.

“Communication is going really well, with the county, engineers and contractors.”

Foundation work has included stockpiling and stabilizing topsoil, creating an infiltration test pond, underground utilities and fire and water infrastructure is a little over half complete, at 55 percent, he said.

Senior Project Manager Carl York said that backfills were to begin this week, and all contractors are working on a three-dimensional model of the building to make sure everything fits according to the plan.

In addition to the actual physical work, however, there has been that critical element of open communication and cooperation, York said.

“Ever since we started the job, and quite intensely the last month, all the contractors have been working on the final baseline schedule. The general contractor has been meeting with each of the contractors to get their information, and we’ve had separate meetings where everybody’s together and everybody goes through the schedule and agrees on the logic in there. That same schedule has been sent to Pike scheduling department for review and comment and is now finally been finalized,” York said. “This is going extremely well. The meetings are very well attended, it’s very positive. We’re getting a lot done. It’s a very positive process right now.”

Rainy weather — though needed for brown lawns and thirsty crops — caused contractors to lose three and a half days of work. It’s “nothing out of the ordinary,” Bollin said.

Construction trailers are all in place, and the remaining contractors are to bring in their trailers over the next couple of months, usually around August, York said. National Grid has yet to provide its design for getting power out to the site, he said.

“It’s still in design and up in Albania, so we’re still facing that. National Fuel did come out and walk the site. But they have not provided us anything for their design yet for the gas coming over to the proper foundation,” he said. “All of the contractors and the design team are all working on the 3D model of the building, looking for clash infections and making sure that everything’s going to fit. We’re about a third of the way through that whole process.”

“If we didn’t include that in the original bids, we didn’t know what we’re going to be encountering. Once we saw what the site was going to be like this was the best thing to do to create a stable work area so that the site’s not muddy and progress would not be delayed by rain like this,” he said.

County Legislator Shelley Stein asked him what the greatest challenge has been. With little pause, he said “material availabilities.” Obtaining necessary materials has been difficult, and at times “we can’t even get sample kits,” he said.

“I’m most concerned about the National Grid and getting power to the site. Our switchgear getting here, and then the rooftop, those are our biggest worries. I mean right now that we’ve got time budgeted in the schedule for this, but if they start slipping, then those are all critical items that will directly impact the schedule.”

The new jail, adjacent to County Building 2 and Genesee County Animal Shelter on Route 5 in Batavia, is still on track for a March 2024 completion, Bollin said.

Photo: Mark Bollin, left, and Carl York discuss the progress of Genesee County Jail during the Public Services meeting this week. Photo by Joanne Beck.


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