Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe –
Construction of a Regional Justice and Public Safety Center

Grant Amount: $4,000,000

Location: The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) is one of six bands that make up the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT). Other MCT bands include the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Millie Lacs, and White Earth. The Leech Lake reservation originally encompassed 864,158 acres, but a vast majority of the reservation is either covered by lakes or national forest. The reservation is made up of 11 tribal communities, each with their own community council, and the tribal headquarters is located at Cass Lake, Minnesota. The site is located in Cass Lake, just north of the existing tribal administration building, at the intersection of Route 2 and Maple Drive.

Scope: The project consists of designing and constructing a Regional Justice and Public Safety Center. The proposed 30,000 +/- square foot facility will provide space for tribal court and law enforcement, and will provide state probation agents and other justice partners with space to administer existing joint jurisdiction programs. The facility will also house dispatch and accommodate secure temporary holding for offenders either brought to court or upon arrest, pending release or transfer to other detention, correctional, rehabilitation, or transitional facilities.

The project will also include site improvements and preparations including but not limited to site grading, extending nearby utilities, adding paved entrances and parking lots, and landscaping.

Status: The project is in the design phase and approximately 60 percent complete as of August 2014. LLBO is in the process of completing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for the selected site, and submitted a draft environmental assessment (EA) to BJA for review and comment in July 2014. Final NEPA clearance is anticipated by October 2014 upon the satisfaction of agency comments to the draft EA and completion of the 30-day public review period.

LLBO is considering utilizing a traditional design-bid-build approach to project delivery and competitively procured architectural and engineering (A/E) services from BKV Group of Minneapolis, WI in March 2014. BKV assisted with site selection, has completed the conceptual and schematic design phases, and is scheduled to complete design development and commence preparation of construction documents by September 2014.

Schematic design documents indicate 30,197 of enclosed secure and public spaces including but not limited to two courtrooms, judge's chambers, court clerk and administration space, private conference rooms, public waiting areas, jury accommodations, a secure sally port, and enclosed garage for eight patrol cars, evidence storage, and office space for law enforcement, investigations, and probation.

Building construction is scheduled to commence by fall 2014 upon the selection of a general contractor or a construction manager. In an effort to reduce construction costs, LLBO intends to perform much of the earthwork and site preparation prior to the completion of the construction documents and procurement of formal construction services. The project, including the design phase, has an estimated duration of 20 months and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

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