Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth and the county commissioners are inviting the public to a ribbon cutting and open house this Friday for the new sheriff’s office and jail complex.
The facility is located at 1500 Robinson Road SE in Washington Court House and includes an administrative area, a 911 call center, and a detention area.
The event will begin with a flag raising by the Scouts of America, followed by the ribbon cutting with local officials and dignitaries at 11 a.m.
Following the ribbon cutting, an open house of the jail facility will be held from noon to 5 p.m. so the community can view the complex.
The legislation allowing the funding for the new complex was passed by the voters during the May 7, 2019 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. The funding for the jail was a 40-year, $21,002,594 loan with a 3.5% interest rate. Following the passage, construction of the facility began in June of 2019.
The project for the new facility came about due to the condition of the current jail which was originally built in 1884. Although there were additions made in the 1900s to the facility, that was prior to the state standards and regulations in effect during this century.
As previously reported, officials explained that the current jail had failed 61 state standards and only passed 31. Essentially, the current jail was in danger of being shut down by the state.
If shut down, the inmates would have needed to be transported to another location and more money spent to house them in that location than it would have cost to house them locally. This would also take deputies out of Fayette County to drive, potentially hours, away and would harm local jobs as the jail would not be operational, according to officials.