Jackson Co. supervisors select new architecture firm to design jail

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County jail saga could soon be over. A new architectural firm was chosen Tuesday to design an 800 bed jail.

"We picked Goldberg Architects out of Missouri," Supervisor John McKay said.

Goldberg, Sullivan and McCrerey was one of the four firms that pitched ideas to the county in July. Supervisors said this new choice will allow them to get an up-to-date jail without going over budget.

"They offered something no other group offered us and that is to work with the sheriff to make operating plans, contingency plans, emergency plans and all this is included in the prices to keep it under $30 million, said McKay.

McKay said the Missouri team also promised to cut operating cost, all while meeting several federal requirements.

"You have to have a number of dayrooms so you can separate different classes of personnel," said McKay. "So having this design, each one of his cells is a lock down cell, they are two man cells. The others ones are one man cells, but you don't have the big dormitory type that requires a lot of people to supervise them."

Supervisor Mike Mangum believes the old architect, Pryor and Morrow, was just as good. Last month, the county fired that firm citing rising cost and flexibly issues.

"They had done exactly what we had asked them to do, and they would have changed anything we would have asked them change," Mangum said.

Now that a new firm has been chosen to do the job, Supervisor Troy Ross is confident the board will stick to this decision.

"It has been going on for 12 to 14 years, and I think it is time we go head and build a jail and give the sheriff something that is a good facility," Ross said.

The Board of Supervisors said if everything goes as planned, a new multi-million dollar jail will go up by beginning of 2013.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.