The administrative building of the new Fayette County Jail facility has been completed and was scheduled to undergo inspection this week, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
As previously reported, the new jail facility will be located off Robinson Road and is planned to be a law enforcement complex. That complex is to include an administrative area, a 911 call center, a detention area, an exercise area, etc.
The legislation allowing the funding for the new Fayette County Jail was passed during last year’s May 7 special election by a 1,378-1,129 margin. The levy contained two parts — one to fund the construction and one to fund the operation of the new facility. As previously reported, the funding for the jail was a 40-year, $21,002,594 loan with a 3.5% interest rate, which would add approximately $66.50 annually to property taxes per $100,000 of appraised property value, according to the Fayette County Commissioners.
Following the passage, construction of the facility began in June of 2019.
The area that has been completed so far (the administrative building) houses the 9-1-1 communications operations center. Stanforth explained via email that operating and occupying the center is the first phase of move-in. The 9-1-1 center is expected to be operational the first week of December.
“Today, transitioning to the new communications center is our priority. Once we move into the communication center we can focus on moving into the new jail. Each phase of the project is exciting and challenging,” wrote Stanforth.
Although the communication center is expected to be completed in December, Stanforth explained Granger Construction (the company handling the project) has a tentative completion date of Jan. 18 for the overall construction. That date will not change unless an agreement is made between Granger and the Fayette County Commissioners.
Delays in the project have mostly been due to industry delays, according to Stanforth.
“Industry delays have affected various parts of the construction throughout the project. The manufacture of pieces of equipment and the delay of materials has impacted stages, although in recent weeks those issues have been addressed. On most occasions the project has been able to proceed around any delays,” wrote Stanforth.
Recently, there was a COVID-19 outbreak in the current Fayette County Jail which, as previously reported, is out-dated and often over-crowded.
“The current jail facility makes meeting the challenges of the COVID epidemic difficult. We currently take all new arrestees to another facility designed to segregate all new admissions and limiting potential exposures,” wrote Stanforth.
As previously reported and according to officials, the design of the new jail was created to follow state regulations including ensuring adequate law-required space per inmate.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.