Jackson County jail on schedule to finish next summer

The new Jackson County jail under construction in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX News)
The new Jackson County jail under construction in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX News)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - One of Jackson County's largest and most expensive projects continues to take shape in the heart of Pascagoula despite several rain delays and other minor hiccups.

County officials said the current Jackson County jail is old and sometimes overcrowded. The new one going up is just a few feet away. While the construction is not quite at the halfway mark, Jackson County Supervisors said the new jail should be ready by next summer.

The sound of progress could be heard in Pascagoula as a small army of construction workers build the new 104,000-square-foot Jackson County jail.

"It looks like things are starting to move in the right direction," Supervisor Troy Ross said.

The project is 35 - 40 percent complete. Construction has been a challenge because of rain delays during the summer.

"We are still behind schedule, but we believe we are going to be able to make those days up. So, if you go out now they are hanging some of the beams and pouring cement," Supervisor Melton Harris said.

The new adult detention center is more than a decade in the making.

"It really makes me feel good because this was an issue when I first came on the board 14 years ago. We have had several setbacks; we put it out for an election and it was voted down. We have had to go back and get the financing. In the long run it has saved us some money and we are able to hit the bond market at just the right time," said Harris.

The building coming out of the ground has a price tag of $27.6 million.

Supervisor John McKay says the jail will be safer, more modern and almost twice the size of this current facility that is usually overcrowded.

"Yes, it is too big today. We have 700 beds and our average prisoner load is 400, but had the jail we are currently in been built larger, we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today. So, we know we are building for the future," McKay said.

Supervisors want taxpayers to know construction of this jail will be finished on budget and on schedule.

"They probably will not believe it until we cut the ribbon on the door, but we believe by mid-spring early summer of next year we will be cutting that ribbon to open up the ADC," Harris said.

The schedule date for completion is May 20.

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