The addition, largely built with county employees and inmate labor, is expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of March. It is financed by $1,900,154 from the special sales tax that was used to build the existing 240-bed jail.
At the county’s request, Bryant Associates architects in Atlanta modified the building plans to lower officer staffing by as many as three per shift.
The changes include: having direct visual supervision at each dormitory’s conference rooms, which will be used for counseling, worship services and educational programs; reducing the size of fresh-air exercise facilities to maintain visual supervision; and having video visitation, rather than using officers to take inmates from housing to visitation areas at the main jail.
The extra cost of the changes – $518,975.67 – will be offset in 2.8 years assuming a personnel savings of about $180,000 per year.
Building maintenance employees Larry Dorrough and Larry Nominson, officer Larry Webb and Public Work Camp Warden Dexter Wells “have worked tirelessly to implement the required modification,” architect Jud Bryant said in a letter to County Manager Mike Dobbs.
Even with increased construction costs, the project will be completed at an average cost per inmate bed of $9,502.57, compared to the statewide average of $28,936, Bryant said.
Dobbs said construction should be completed by the end of January, then furniture, fixtures and equipment have to be purchased and installed. Testing of security systems will be done in February and March.
Joel Martin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 884-7311, Ext. 235.