BCC chooses jail expansion architect, Bolla as new chairman

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 12/1/21

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County officials selected a firm for Clay County Jail renovations, approved new commission districts and selected Wayne Bolla and Betsy Condon as chairman and …

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BCC chooses jail expansion architect, Bolla as new chairman

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County officials selected a firm for Clay County Jail renovations, approved new commission districts and selected Wayne Bolla and Betsy Condon as chairman and vice-chairwoman of the board.

The top three firms for the Clay County Jail renovations – Bhide & Hall Architects, Strollo Architects and Clemons, Rutherford & Associates – gave presentations to commissioners at a board meeting last week. Prior to the meeting, a five-member committee of county and Clay County Sheriff’s Office employees scored the three firms within a point of each other.

Sheriff Michelle Cook said each bid was from an experienced firm and she respected the county’s process. She called the renovation plans the best way to build within the sheriff’s office’s footprint and provide relief for the jail. The sheriff’s office’s renovations could add more than 80 beds to the jail, according to the agency’s Chief of Services Anthony Dangerfield.

Commissioners ranked Strollo Architects the highest of the three bidders. The firm outlined its plans for collaboration with the sheriff’s office, how costs would be figured and its emphasis on flexibility. Commissioner Mike Cella said all of the firms brought unique angles to the project.

“In five years on the board, this is probably the toughest decision in terms of picking from three very close competitors,” Cella said.

In other business

In other business, commissioners unanimously approved new district maps that mirror the Clay County School District board member districts. The map moves all of Fleming Island into District 1 and moves the Green Cove Springs area from District 1 to District 5.

“I spoke with four of the five school board members and they were all pleased with the process and complimentary that we could reach what no other commission or school board could do,” Condon said.

At the end of the meeting, Bolla and Condon were unanimously approved as Chairman and Vice-Chairwoman of the board. They will assume their roles at the Dec. 14 BCC meeting.

“You’ve done a great job Mr. Cella and you are a tough act to follow,” Bolla told the outgoing chairman.

Cella thanked county staff and said the commission had some tough votes and debates during the past year but remained collegial.

“Being the BCC Chairman is a privilege and an honor,” he said. “It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. It’s not a one-person job.”

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