Denver women’s jail buildout cost 30% more, took 3 years longer than planned

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Building 24 at the Denver jail is designed for women. (KDVR)

DENVER (KDVR) — Denver’s buildout of a new women-only jail facility cost 30% more than expected and lasted more than three years longer than scheduled, according to a report from Denver’s auditor.

Auditors found documentation lacking in the project and discovered that some subcontractors billed more than what the originally quoted, adding almost $2 million in costs to the project, and some subcontractors didn’t have original price quotes on file at all.

“Change orders after the fact, light documentation on a project, years of delays, and extra cost for work that may have been foreseeable — this doesn’t pass the test for public accountability and responsible management of public funds,” Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien said in a press release.

The project, known as “Building 24,” was supposed to be done by January 2018, but that timeline got pushed back to March of this year. The project was still not officially done when the audit work closed out in late March, although it’s unclear if it’s opened since then.

The city told FOX31 back in December 2019 that the added costs were because of safety enhancements. But the audit found that the project’s documents didn’t explain why those weren’t anticipated during planning and why they were outside the scope of the contract price.

Read the auditor’s report here.

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