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Ivey receives two prison construction proposals

Governor Kay Ivey announced Friday that her administration has received proposals from two different construction groups on how they would build the three new men’s prisons planned by the state.

A release from the state says the process now goes into a “confidential proposal evaluation period” that will last around six weeks.

“I am confident that this transformative initiative will improve our state’s infrastructure by replacing aging and dilapidated facilities that increasingly pose public safety risks and only will continue to unnecessarily drain taxpayers’ dollars,” advised Ivey on Friday.

The confidential nature of the proposal period has come under fire from Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston).

Marsh expressed frustration to Alabama Media Group earlier this week that Ivey is “not involving the legislature in the process” that concerns almost a billion dollars in taxpayer money.

“I remain committed, as I have from day one, to continue to work closely with the Legislature – on both sides of the aisle – throughout the procurement process,” said Ivey in remarks accompanying the announcement that she had received the construction proposals.

Alabama is under pressure from the federal government to improve its prison system after a federal judge decreed that the state’s current prison situation violates the U.S. Constitution’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

In response to the building federal pressure, Ivey called announced a plan in early 2019 to build three new men prisons for men, with an estimated cost of $900 million.

The process for soliciting proposals from firms capable of completing such a large task has played out at a deliberate pace in the ensuing months, culminating in Friday’s receipt of proposals from two construction groups.

Those groups are:

Alabama Prison Transformation Partners (Star America; BL Harbert International; Butler-Cohen; Arrington Watkins Architects; and Johnson Controls, Inc.)

CoreCivic (CoreCivic; Caddell Construction; DLR Group; and R&N Systems Design)

Their proposals will be looked at by “a committee of stakeholders, including representatives from the ADOC and the Alabama Department of Finance, including the Division of Construction Management,” according to the governor’s office.

“I will not rest until we have an acceptable solution to this problem, which cannot be ignored and will not go away on its own,” promised Ivey.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@new-yhn.local or on Twitter @HenryThornton95