Site on Robinson Road chosen as proposed jail location

By Ashley Bunton -

A county-owned site on Robinson Road is the proposed location for a new Fayette County Jail currently in the pre-planning stages.

Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said the county picked the new location recently and the Fayette County Commissioners voted to approve of the new location at a meeting last week.

The site location on Robinson Road is between the Union Township Fire House and the Fayette County Dog Shelter, Stanforth said. The Shremshock architects working on the project are preparing a floor-plan for a proposed single-story adult detention facility.

“We have been working with the architectural firm on the needs assessment. Based on the needs assessment and their experience on what they think we need, they will be presenting a proposed architectural floor-plan to the county in early December,” said Stanforth.

The new jail plan would create a jail building with an expected 120-bed capacity and an attached administration building. The current jail location in downtown Washington C.H. would close, according to Stanforth. On Robinson Road, the new jail would not compromise the fire house and dog shelter buildings, which will remain in place, Stanforth said.

Stanforth said placing the new jail at the Robinson Road site will be a cost-effective move for the county.

“The primary reason is because the county owns the property and it suits the geographical need for a jail and the 911 communications center,” said Stanforth in an interview Thursday.

Stanforth wasn’t worried about the sheriff’s office losing visibility by moving outside of the downtown area.

“We don’t need to be downtown. That’s typically where courts are located and we don’t need to be there,” said Stanforth. “Our response time will be fast because we’re going to be geographically centered to all of the major highways and we’re located within minutes from the court. Robinson Road is an ideal situation. It’s not a residential area, it’s not a heavy industrial or commercial area.”

He said the county considered other locations before deciding on the Robinson Road location. One possible scenario was to build the new jail in downtown Washington C.H., but Stanforth said it would add tens of thousands of dollars to the price.

“If you want it downtown, we have to buy all the land downtown, and would have to build multiple stories and there would be no room for expansion. On Robinson Road, we can expand in 30 or 40 years if we need to.”

A projected cost for building the new jail will be available at a later time after completion of the needs assessment, Stanforth said.

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton