CARTHAGE, Mo. — Contract negotiations have begun between the Jasper County Commission and Crossland Construction on a project to build a new Joplin courts building, a new courtroom at the Carthage courthouse and an expansion of the Jasper County Jail.

The commission received five proposals for the project, interviewed representatives of three of the companies and then ranked them.

In a closed session on Tuesday, commissioners met with Crossland representatives to begin to negotiate terms of a potential contract for the job, including price and a construction timeline. If a deal can be struck, the commission will consider a final contract at an upcoming meeting, said Darieus Adams, western district commissioner.

If a deal is not closed with Crossland, the commissioners will negotiate with the next choice on the rankings, Adams said.

The project is estimated at $50 million.

Jasper County voters on April 2 approved a ballot question to pay for the project by extending a quarter-cent sales tax first passed in 2016. The initial round of that tax paid for renovations at the Carthage courthouse and the replacement of the juvenile center building in Joplin.

Commissioners had purchased the former First Baptist Church building at Seventh Street and Pearl Avenue for expansion of the Joplin courts building. Last month, the commission awarded the bid for demolition of that building to Gerken Environmental, of Springfield, at a cost of $423,454.

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