Bids being accepted for demo of old Ogle County Jail

Bids are due by Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. to county clerk

OREGON — Ogle County is seeking bids to demolish its old jail.

“I’m looking forward to moving forward and getting a lot of questions about, ‘When is that jail coming down?’ since obviously it’s vacant,” County Engineer Jeremy Ciesiel said.

Bids are due Oct. 5, by 1 p.m. at the Ogle County Clerk’s Office, located at 105 South 5th St., Suite 104, in Oregon.

“We’ll have a public bid opening on Oct. 5 in advance of the committee and county board meetings next month in October,” Ciesiel said. “So it gives us some time to review the received bids and make sure that we’re comfortable with the low bid. Hopefully we get several in order to compare.”

The old jail is located at 107 South 5th St., in Oregon. It is attached to the south side of the Old Ogle County Courthouse, a building in which many county officials have offices. The new jail opened in November 2020.

“Right now, the plan is to demolish the building [the old jail],” Ciesiel said. “It’s got a basement in it, so fill the basement and get everything cleaned up, and then let it sit for a while while we decide what to do with that space.”

He said county board members seem to be in favor of using the space to widen the existing parking lot by a stall width. If that’s the end result, it will be a separate project in the future, Ciesiel said.

“Other than that, I’m hoping we get multiple bids and I’m hoping that whoever gets the bid, we have suitable weather and we can get all of the utilities disconnected at a quick time and we can move forward,” he said.

The timeline for demolishing the old jail, which was built in the 1960-70s, is going to depend somewhat on the bid and heavily on how quickly the utilities can be disconnected, Ciesiel said. Water and gas to the vacant building have been shut off for “a long time,” and just enough electricity to ensure proper security measures remains, he said.

“We’ve got watermain, electricity, Comcast that are not moving as quickly as I was hoping with the disconnections,” Ciesiel said. “But we need to get that taken care of before we can start taking it down.”

The bid documents can be found on the Ogle County website by going to the “County” dropdown menu and clicking “RFP (Request for Proposal).”

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner covers Ogle County for the Oregon Republican Reporter, Forreston Journal, Mt. Morris Times and Polo Tri-County Press. She has six-plus years of experience in journalism and has won numerous awards.