By Lisa Kopochinski
NEW ALBANY, Ind.— Although renovation efforts have been underway for nearly a year on the Floyd County Jail, the $14 million project will not be completed until early next year.
According to WDRB.com, the project had been slated for completion in October, but is now delayed to February or March 2020 due to initial utility and security work taking longer to complete than expected. This construction delay will have no impact on the budget. Michell Allen Ritz Architecture is the architect and Shireman Construction is the general contractor.
The project budget was approved in 2018 to renovate the existing jail and double its capacity, which costs less than building an entirely new jail. Over the past 10 months of construction, jail staff have transferred inmates from one section to accommodate the construction crew.
“We can’t hang a ‘No Vacancy’ sign out front until it’s done,” said Floyd County Jail Commander David Furman in a statement.
“So, we [have] got to keep pushing through. Not only do we have a major construction project going on, we also have a secure detention facility we have to run daily.”
To date, a few housing blocks have been completed in addition to the new kitchen, rec room and laundry room. However, Furman said a few blocks and the booking room need to be completely rehabbed.
“We are a little bit behind in the construction. A lot of it had to do with infrastructure in the first phase.”
This phase included all new utilities and wiring the entire building for a new security system.
“The security and electronics are, without question, the best part of the new jail renovations,” Furman added.
The outdated security system has been replaced with a new digital system with cameras that are no longer pixelated and can zoom in or move around a room. The inner doors also have key fob access for deputies.
The jail was built in the early 1990s with 129 beds. Ten years later, it was increased to the current 234 beds.