HENDERSON, Ky. — Officials broke ground on an about $2 million addition to the Henderson County Detention Center earlier this week. Danco Construction is building the addition, while Fosse and Associates Architectural Firm is designing it; both companies hold offices in Evansville, Ind.
The project has been in the works for more than three years, according to The Gleaner, a local news source, and work was supposed to begin in January. However, several factors, including weather and changes in the expansion plans delayed the project until now.
The addition will expand the kitchen, allowing the jail facility to feed the jail’s about 700 inmates three times a day in an orderly fashion instead of taking hours to prepare and serve meals. Built to serve about 236 inmates, the current kitchen is 836 square feet, and the addition will make the new facility more than three times that at about 2,866 square feet.
Along with the kitchen, the addition will also include a larger multipurpose room, dorm area renovations and locker room upgrades, reported The Gleaner. The project comes at a time when the facility is struggling to accommodate the inmate population that has tripled since the detention center opened in 1996. The multipurpose room will even allow for the county to eventually accommodate a larger substance-abuse program or other statewide programs into its rehabilitation efforts, Jailer Ron Herrington told The Gleaner.
The Henderson County Fiscal Court approved bond sales to pay for the project, with an agreement from Herrington to use $800,000 of the jail’s accounts to make the first three years of bond payments. Since the county is under budgetary constraints, financing for the project was one of the major factors that needed to be addressed before construction could begin.