Davis County Jail Medical 07

Deputy Dallas Adams works the desk in the medical wing at the Davis County Jail on Monday, March 11, 2019. The county is planning to expand the jail’s medical wing, which has struggled to meet the high volume of inmates that need medical attention.

FARMINGTON — Davis County officials are negotiating with a Salt Lake City architectural firm to draw up plans for the new jail medical wing expansion.

The Archiplex Group rated highest of three companies that submitted acceptable proposals for the architectural component of the impending $9 million project, officials told the county commission Jan. 21.

County Clerk-Auditor Curtis Koch said Monday he expects a contract will be signed within two weeks, unless an unsuccessful bidder chooses to challenge the contract award.

The Archiplex Group has designed structures for other institutional clients, including a series of corrections projects.

The company designed a new secure entry for the Utah Department of Corrections’ Bonneville Community Correctional Center in Salt Lake City, according to the Archiplex website. It also worked on the Central Utah Correctional Facility West 1 expansion in Gunnison and designed the remodeling of the Southwest Utah Youth Center in Cedar City.

Koch said a construction contractor for the medical wing will be chosen later.

In December, county commissioners voted to issue $9.08 million in sales tax revenue bonds to finance construction of the medical wing.

The project came about because of unprecedented numbers of Davis jail inmates suffering from substance abuse or mental health problems. Officials decided to build a 23-to-26-bed medical wing connecting to the existing jail to replace the nearly 30-year-old six-cell observation unit.

From 2016 to 2017, seven people died in the Davis jail. Four of the deaths were suicides and the other three related at least in part to prescription or illegal drugs.

In all the deaths, training of corrections deputies and medical staff was raised as a potential area of concern, but for years Davis County Sheriff’s Office officials had cited the inadequacy of the original medical unit.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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