After 27 years of use, the medical and dental units at the Bannock County Detention Center, located at the Sheriff’s Office on South 5th Avenue in Pocatello, are in need of a renovation.
“I have told other staff that if I walked into a doctor’s office or dentist’s office that looked like this, I would probably go shopping for another provider. The inmates don’t have that option, but they do deserve to have a clean-looking exam room for their medical and dental care,” Waldron said.
The upgrades will improve more than just the appearance of the space; they will also improve the cleanliness and utility of the medical bay.
“The flooring is original and worn down to the point it does not clean very well. There is an original HVAC unit above the suspended ceiling grid that needs to be replaced,” said Levi Waldron, the Chief Operations Director and Security for the Sheriff’s Office. “In order to access this unit, we will need to remove a major section of the suspended ceiling grid, and what better time to replace the grid and ceiling tiles with tiles that can be wiped clean, sanitized, and not trap dust and other particles in a medical and dental office.”
In order to fix these issues, the Bannock County Procurement Department asked 24 qualified area contractors to propose a bid for the project, as well as posted the request on the Bannock County website for four weeks. The Board of County Commissioners awarded the contracts in early March to five different specialized companies.
The awarded bids totaled $59,112 and will be paid for through the Bannock County Sheriff’s budget. The project is expected to finish under the total budget of $90,000, with Waldron and his team conducting additional plumbing work and final touches.
Hatch Flooring from Preston was chosen to replace the tile. KJ Acoustics of Pocatello was chosen to update the ceiling. Ed’s Painting Contractor of Blackfoot was picked to paint the unit. Reas Custom Cabinets of American Falls was chosen to replace the cabinets and countertops. Razor Electric of Pocatello was chosen to handle the electrical work. Bids were awarded based on the quality, cost, and longevity of the work presented.
Work is projected to start in late May or early June, depending on the availability of materials. Waldron began working with contractors to order materials as soon as bids were awarded. His goal is to have the project completed six weeks from the start date and ready for medical staff to resume utilizing the space during the last two weeks of construction.
During construction, medical and dental services will still be provided to inmates in a temporary medical unit at the jail.