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Greene County’s jail expansion is on track to fall within an estimated $150 million budget. 

On Thursday, county commissioners approved a maximum price of just over $123 million for the main jail building with the option to add 100 more dorm-style beds at $3.1 million. 

So-called “soft costs” for the project, which include a contingency fund, finishing touches, furniture and equipment, will come in around $23 million, likely bringing the total to just shy of $150 million. 

The jail, which will be located just south of the Springfield-Branson National Airport, will house up to 1,242 inmates with dorm-style beds included, which is more than double the size of the current facility. 

Commissioners also considered maximum prices for other buildings that will sit on the property, including an estimated $5.5 million training and evidence building and an $857,000 vehicle storage facility, though they opted to vote on those at a later date. 

During initial talks about the project, there was some fear that with the additional 100-bed dorm, the project could rise to nearly $170 million. 

But county Resource Management Director Kevin Barnes said a team of people who have advised on the jail project and others found savings to keep the price closer to the estimated $150 million. 

Some of those changes included making some cells into four-person dwellings instead of two. 

When asked whether he anticipated the coronavirus outbreak would affect the project, Barnes said it was too early to tell. 

“It’s a concern because it’s just the fear of the unknown,” he said. “You see contractors rushing out to buy up on materials because they’re worried they may run out.” 

He said he wasn’t worried about the county getting the concrete cells as scheduled, but he was watching to see if there may be other materials become scarce during a nearly global shutdown of some manufacturers. 

“Right now, the construction industry is full-speed ahead, and if that continues we shouldn’t see a delay,” he said. “(Then again), what I would’ve told you two weeks ago is very different than what I’m saying today, so we’ll see.” 

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