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First prison construction contract signed

By MARY SELL and TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Last fall, the Alabama Legislature passed and Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a plan to spend $1.3 billion to build at least two new prisons and renovate old ones in an effort to address the state’s prison crisis. The plan is to build the new prisons through a “design-build” contracting process that allows the projects to start without bids.

Alabama Daily News has learned that the first of those contracts was signed this week. Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola confirmed that a contract with Caddell Construction has been signed.

“The state of Alabama has executed a design-build contract with Caddell Construction Co., LLC effective April 15, 2022, for the construction of a specialized men’s prison facility that will provide enhanced medical and mental health services in Elmore County. The new facility will create a safer security environment for inmates and security personnel.

“Our construction timeline continues to remain on schedule,” Maiola said.

The Legislature and Ivey approved in a special session the borrowing of up to $785 million and the use of $400 million in state American Rescue Plan Act funds for prison construction.

The legislation also called for “design-build contracts,” in which a single entity performs both the design and construction under a single agreement.  In the more standard design-bid-build, designers and contractors are hired separately.

Caddell and Birmingham-based BL Harbert were both part of teams expected to build prisons under  Ivey’s earlier plan to lease from private developers three new facilities. That plan fell apart earlier last year, but Caddell and Harbert had been vetted and put in the groundwork to quickly move on prison construction, lawmakers said last fall.

A copy of the contract with Caddell was not immediately available.

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