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Penzel Construction wins Cape Girardeau County Jail addition bid

Photo by Jay Forness

The Cape Girardeau County Commissioners chose Penzel Construction Company of Jackson as the winning bidder for the construction and design of an addition to the Cape Girardeau County Jail.

The $45.5 million base bid was approved by the county commissioners on Nov. 17 after they read proposals from Penzel and Little Dixie Construction of Columbia.

The project will be partially funded by a $32.23 million loan from Webster Bank approved in August. The county will also use $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to cover some of the costs related to the jail expansion.

Both Penzel and Little Dixie bid the maximum base bid price of $45.5 million, though Penzel received a higher technical score. Penzel received an overall score of 94, including the technical and price proposals, compared to Little Dixie’s score of 87.

Both construction teams were asked to include up to six projects for the $45.5 million total price – including the jail addition, replacing the roof of the 1979 portion of the jail building, replacing the roof of the 2000 addition to the county jail, new cell doors in the county jail, renovations to the sheriff’s office and renovations to the 1908 Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson.

Both teams were able to include the new jail addition and the roof replacement to the 1979 jail/sheriff’s office building in its base bid, but Penzel also included a new roof for the 2000 jail addition and new cell doors.

The bulk of both bids covered the addition to the county jail – with Penzel bidding $44,647,492 for that portion of the project and Little Dixie bidding $45,340,000 for the addition.

The 1979 roof replacement bids were fairly comparable – with Penzel bidding $157,866 and Little Dixie bidding $160,000 for the new roof.

In its base bid, Penzel included a $280,342 bid to replace the 2000 jail building roof and a $414,300 bid to replace cell doors.

Both teams also submitted additive scope bids for portions of the project not included in the base bids, including renovations to the 1908 courthouse, and alternative options for the project.

Penzel created its design-build proposals with design partner TreanorHL Architects of Kansas City. The same design-build team completed the $20 million Cape Girardeau County Courthouse, which opened in 2020.

The county commissioners still need to negotiate a contract with Penzel Construction Company for the project and decide if the county wants to move forward with any additive bids.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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