Jackson Co. works with new architect firm on new jail contract

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County has taken another major step toward building a safer more secure jail. Tuesday, several county leaders and the new architect team ironed out the final details of the contract to design and build the multi-million dollar facility.

Replacing this old jail has been all talk for years. Now, supervisors said action is coming.

"You will see a lot of stuff starting within the next 60 to 90 days. The actual construction of the foundation will probably actually start within six months, and then construction will be completed sometime hopefully in early 2014," Supervisor John McKay said.

McKay said the contract with Goldberg Group Architects Tuesday is at least $5 to $6 million cheaper than the one a previous firm came up with.

"We borrowed up to $30 million, so in the contract it states that this project  will not cost us anymore than that amount of money," said McKay "That $30 million includes all architectural fees, all engineering fees, all of the non-construction items such as bedding that has to go in, the video courtrooms, pots and pans."

Under the proposal, the new adult detention center will be a bit smaller than previous plans, but it will still meet all federal and state square footage, capacity, and safety requirements.

"Each and every cell in the facility is a lockdown cell, where as the old one had big dormitories where you would have 30 to 40 prisoners in one big open bay that is the biggest significance. It is going to much safer for the jail personal as well as the prisoners themselves," McKay said about the new jail.

WLOX did ask Supervisor McKay how much this new firm will be getting paid for all the work.  McKay said he is waiting for contract to be approved before releasing the information. The board of supervisors is expected to review and approve the contract this week.

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