STATESVILLE, N.C. — Iredell County Commissioners unanimously voted to begin construction planning for a new county jail in Statesville.
The commissioners voted for Charlotte, N.C.-based Moseley Architects to design the facility and conduct preliminary construction services. Members from the county and sheriff’s office chose the architecture firm from a group of seven architects, following the board’s fiscal year 2014-20-15 winter retreat, reported Statesville Record & Landmark.
Expected to cost about $18 million, the project will add about 300 beds to the existing jail with a core space for 700 inmates. The project will also include renovations to the current jail, including an infirmary constructed in the existing jail space.
The jail project has undergone several development stages since 2010. The current jail has a capacity of 277 inmate beds between two buildings in downtown Statesville and the annex. The expansion is necessary for the county to deal with overcrowding, which has been an issue for some time in the county. In 2014, there were 5,573 people processed at the jail; however, deputies have often had to transport inmates to other counties to house them, costing the county time and travel as well as $40 a day for inmate housing, reported Statesville Record & Landmark.
Last spring, the county began a fast-track program to help ease overcrowding. The program helps fast tracks inmates who may want to plead guilty and be sentenced. Although the program helped fast track 53 inmates last March, according to WBTV, the county still needed the additional space from the new jail.
Plans are to begin construction in December of this year, with enough time between now and then for design and subcontractor bidding. County officials estimate that the project will be completed by February 2019, but County Manager Ron Smith told Statesville Record & Landmark that the project could be completed sooner.