Architect: Complete cost for judicial complex around $90 million

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Architect Don May talks to local leaders about the phases of development for a judicial complex in Clovis during the city/county quarterly luncheon at the Clovis Civic Center Wednesday.

Sharna Johnson

Architect Don May told city and county officials Wednesday that the first of four phases for a proposed Curry County judicial complex will cost $33 million.

The estimate for the complete project is around $90 million, he said.

May discussed the project during a quarterly city/county luncheon Wednesday at the Clovis Civic Center.

May said the first phase would take care of the most pressing needs for courthouse security and a failing detention center.

Following the lunch, May further explained the full project may not be needed as time passes and the needs of the area are re-evaluated.

May cautioned his estimated cost is a “nebulous number” that could easily change with economic fluctuations and changed needs.

For instance, if inmate population estimates drop, expansions would not be necessary, he said.

However, May said the first phase will meet and slightly exceed current needs.

The first phase of the plan would involve improvements to the existing jail, a new courthouse and a new jail addition for male inmates, he told the group.

The project would be funded through a $16.5 million general obligation bond and a .25 percent gross receipts tax increase.

The bond questions will be posed to voters, who will decide in the November general election if the project moves forward.

Other reports given during the lunch included:

• Clovis Community College President John Neibling said summer enrollment at the college has jumped 70 percent this year. Much of the increase is attributed to online courses. Neibling said the college is hoping the increase carries into the fall semester.

• Col. Kirk Smith from Cannon Air Force Base said in August the base will begin working with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and will be doing community outreach to stimulate the program. The foundation helps with educational costs for the spouses and children of AFSOC personnel wounded or killed in service.

• BNSF Railroad’s Daryl Ness of Albuquerque said the railroad is starting to bounce back from tough times last year and is experiencing an increase in business. Furloughed employees have returned to work and by fall or early winter hiring could begin again.

• City Manager Joe Thomas said construction on the Hull Street overpass is ongoing and work crews have worked long hours to make up for delays in the winter months. The project is still on schedule for completion in October.

• County Manager Lance Pyle said a $500,000 healthcare clinic in Melrose had experienced some delays but is now on track and the county will be taking construction bids in the next few weeks.