There are always plenty of challenges when building correctional facilities like the Mohave County Adult Detention Center in Kingman, Ariz. However, it takes an experienced contractor such as Faulkner USA to deliver a project situated in the side of a mountain. In September, Faulkner USA completed the 688-bed facility as the general contractor and design/builder for slightly more than $72 million. The facility occupies 266,000 square feet and consists of more than 800 precast concrete panels that form walls and support beams.
The complex houses five buildings – labeled “A” through “E” – that make up the 266,000 square feet. A, B and C house administrative, booking, intake, medical, laundry and kitchen areas. Because of the slope of the plane of the job site, these single-story structures each tie into the third floors of D and E, which house adult and juvenile inmates. The floors below E hold the maintenance and storage facilities, as well as the building plant.
Project Executive Dean McMichael admits the Mohave County Adult Detention facility was the most complex jail Faulkner USA has built to date. Digging into the side of a mountain is never an easy task, but the excavators had their hands full with this job.
“The civil engineering and subsequent earthmoving and preparation of the site was a challenge,” McMichael says. “It was solid rock in many places that required an extraordinary amount of effort.”
Once building commenced, Faulkner USA sped up the process by using prefabricated structural walls and support columns from Coreslab Inc. Although it was in the plans to use these columns, McMichael says his company accelerated construction by eliminating a number of the block-outs usually administered with prefabricated panels. Instead, the construction team cored as much of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing piping as it could to pass it through the walls, meaning they were essentially custom-cored for this purpose. Although more costly, McMichael says this technique accelerated the schedule by about a month and allowed for exact positioning for plumbing and electrical infrastructure.
“It wasn’t just the digging, but it was the entire process due to the building’s complexity, sophistication and unique design,” he adds.
Designing the structure proved challenging, as well. For instance, the center backbone wall that runs through the entire wing of the facility is almost 30 feet high, 18 inches thick and 583 feet long. This massive element was required to support the structural integrity of the tilt-up panels that make up buildings A, B and C.
Faulkner USA earned the bid through a request for proposals from the Mohave Correctional Facility Finance Corp., which will lease the facility to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. McMichael says Faulkner USA’s proposal was selected because the company agreed to deliver the project in a shorter period of time than its competitors, and it assisted with finding a consultant to establish financing for the project.
According to Mohave County, a 12-year lease agreement was executed between the corporation and the county board for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. The lease was then assigned to a trustee who issued certificates of participation to secure financing for the project.
Four Decades of Success
Founded more than 40 years ago, Faulkner USA has grown since its start in Austin, Texas, into a national leader in design/build offering single source, turnkey delivery of ground-up construction projects. The company says it specializes in delivering projects for public and private clients.
“We tailor our services to meet the individual needs of our private partners and public clients,” Faulkner USA says.
“Private developers may hire us just for our design/build expertise. Public clients often require the full scope of our services to achieve success: conceptual vision and budget, public relations design, financing and construction.”
Faulkner USA has capabilities to deliver hospitality, residential, corrections, commercial, military housing, education, healthcare, manufacturing, public facilities and retail projects. Along with the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility, Faulkner USA’s other corrections projects include:
- Travis County Jail
- Williamson County Jail
- Eloy Federal BOP/INS Facility
- El Paso County Jail
- Santa Fe County Detention Center
“We think and act like owners and we realize that each development and construction project is unique and calls for an individual approach,” Faulkner USA says. “We can develop a construction solution that’s right for [clients].”