Renovated jail gets OK from board

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Lincoln County supervisors and officials made the finalinspection of renovations to the old county jail facility Tuesday,and Sheriff Lynn Boyte said prisoners should start occupying thespace by next week.

The renovations that completed the $3.4 million project receivedgood reviews from officials.

“I think it looks very good considering how it looked in itsprevious state,’ said W.D. “Doug” Moak, board president. “I’m veryimpressed with it.”

District 5 Supervisor Gary Walker commended Paul Jackson and Soncontractors on the work.

“Aside from a few odds and ends, I’m very pleased,” he said.

Architect Jim Lee said most items were addressed following asemi-final inspection last week. He said contractors will look atany parking lot repairs that may be needed after the approximatelyyear and a half long project.

“They’ll take care of that,” Lee said. “That’s about the onlything that’s lacking.”

Contractors were cleaning up the fenced-off parking areas laterTuesday. Steve Goodwin, project manager, said any parking lot workwould not take too long.

“We don’t want to take the fence up until we’re through fixingit,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said the overall project, which included construction ofa new jail between the current facility and the justice courtbuilding, went pretty smoothly.

“We finished on time, within budget and we’re glad they’repleased with it,” Goodwin said.

The project was estimated at $3.4 million, including $200,000for contingencies that was needed due to some modifications andchange orders during construction. After passing a $3.2 millionbond issue initially, supervisors recently approved getting anadditional $200,000 from bond issue funds to cover the remainingcosts.

One change order involved putting in a wall to betteraccommodate female inmates in the renovated facility. Moak said hewas impressed with the way the change was handled.

Boyte said about 25 percent of the old jail facility will be forholding female inmates. While the renovations were going on, Boytesaid female inmates were housed in surrounding counties’ jails.

The project included no renovations to Brookhaven PoliceDepartment office space. However, County Administrator TillmonBishop said the space will get a bit of a facelift shortly.

“There’s going to be some painting down there,” Bishop said.

Overall, the new jail is able to house around 128 inmates. Ofthose, 84 can be held in the new facility and the remainder in therenovated current building.

Boyte said some office relocation work has to be done beforeinmates can occupy the new facility.

“We’ve still got some people housed in temporary offices in thenew jail,” Boyte said.

The sheriff said they will relocate this week, phone servicewill be installed this weekend and then inmates probably will bemoved by Monday.

“After that, we’ll be ready to go,” Boyte said.

Currently, Boyte said the county jail is housing 58 inmatesfollowing circuit court sentencing Tuesday. Additional courtsentencing is scheduled for Nov. 3.

“We’d be pretty booked is we still had the old 35-inmatecapacity jail,” Boyte said.