Niagara County is set to award more work to LaBella Associates, PC for the remodel of the Sheriff’s Office’s first building.
The County Legislature’s Community Safety and Security Committee this week upheld awarding the company a $92,840 contract for design work on the remodel.
The proposal now goes before the full county Legislature for approval at its Nov. 14 meeting.
The building, built in 1961, houses the operations of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Michael Felicity said the primary focus of the work will be to remodel the building and add space for a forensic lab as well as improving the building’s security.
“Right now, we’re doing preliminary DNA work and taking it to Erie County,” Felicity said. “We want to expand to accommodate the entire process in our laboratory.”
According to the proposal LaBella sent to the Sheriff’s Department, the renovations would include: replacing all windows and raising the existing window sills on the north facade; 1,000-square-foot lobby renovation; Rework restrooms to make them ADA accessible; Reconfiguration of men’s and women’s locker rooms; Adding card readers to interior and exterior hallway doors; Reconfiguration of the criminal office area; and renovate the existing 3,700 square feet of laboratory space and add 2,000 square feet.
After approval by the Legislature, LaBella will begin work on schematic designs, expected to take three to four months to complete, and submit updated plans to the Sheriff’s Department and the county. Cost estimates will be provided by LaBella sub-consultant Trophy Point.
Until the design phase begins, it is not possible to determine how long the redesign of the first building will take, Felicity said.
In June, the Legislature authorized a series of 25-year bonds worth $6.46 million to help pay for renovations along with improvements to the county jail.
Last month, the Legislature awarded a $3 million contract to LaBella to conduct a feasibility study to modernize the old half of the county jail, built in 1961, to match the newer half, which opened in 1996. That study could take up to a year. To complete.
Felicity stressed that although the two buildings are connected, they are separate projects. He added that the county’s prior experience with LaBella, along with its work in public safety facilities, was part of the reason it was selected ahead of other pre-qualified companies.