Jail Improvement Project Improves Facility’s Safety and Security 

November 21, 2023Fort Collins, CO A jail is not just a symbol of justice, but also a space for rehabilitation. Construction of the new Larimer County Jail expands the ability of Larimer County to continue to operate efficiently, safely, and securely all crucial aspects to the quality of life of inmates and jail staff. Encore Electric, JE Dunn, and the Larimer County team collaborated closely on this complex project to enhance capabilities of the facility while navigating the unique circumstances of doing construction on an active jail. 

Construction at the new Larimer County Jail included a remodel of the existing jail structure in addition to a major expansion of the living and operational facilities. Expanding and renovating the jail provided the facility with a new kitchen, loading dock, central utility plant, and a two-story booking area, in addition to an officer training room, break room, and locker room. The project also included the construction of a new three-story housing tower equipped with more beds for inmates and capabilities to support inmates with additional mental and physical needs.  

The electrical needs of a jail are unique, requiring electrical infrastructure to power major security, surveillance, and technology systems while also supporting features such as commercial lighting, kitchen appliances, and other facility equipment. In the newly built and renovated facilities, a team of 20 Encore Electric completed upgrades to the electrical infrastructure that will improve quality of life for those inside the facility. Improved security, technology, and lighting throughout the facility bring improvements to the physical atmosphere of the jail that are designed to ease daily life and operations in the jail. 

“It’s amazing what good lighting and modern technology can do for your quality of life,” said Tyler Zubrod, superintendent. “I’m hopeful the work we did to improve the jail will make daily operations easier.” 

Safety is paramount in the construction of any project, particularly in an active jail facility. Encore Electric worked closely with JE Dunn and the Larimer County Jail team to understand how to perform such electrical upgrades safely and efficiently during construction. Larimer County Jail staff assisted Encore Electric throughout construction to organize and account for all movement of project teammates and materials and create plans around any electrical work or shutdowns.    

Working on the electrical infrastructure within a jail like this meant there were periods when certain security capabilities may need to be shut down. Encore Electric strategically planned and executed these shutdowns and other major electrical work to keep inmates and jail staff safe from accidents and unauthorized access to sensitive areas.  

“The amount of coordination we had to do with everyone on the job led us to develop a pretty great relationship with JE Dunn, Larimer County, and the jail staff,” said Tom Syltie, project manager. “The care that the facility team put into keeping the project teammates and inmates safe during construction was clear from day one and set the stage for a successful project.”  

The coordination and innovation performed on this project has already earned this project industry recognition. General contractor JE Dunn was awarded the AGC Colorado ACE Award for Best Building Project – General Contractor in the $40-$70 million category for the construction of this facility.  

The electrical construction of a county jail is a complex and vital job that demands thorough planning, technical expertise, and unwavering commitment to safety and efficiency. Seamless integration of cutting-edge electrical solutions support the jail to not only serve as a center of restoration, but to contribute to a safer community for the surrounding citizens of Larimer County.  

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