GAINSVILLE, Ga. — The Hall County Correctional Institute in Gainsville was originally scheduled to open in November, but due to weather-related issues it is now likely to open in mid-January. Correctional News covered the story back in August, which explained that the construction of the new facility had been in the works for nearly five years and then officially began breaking ground back in 2014.
Heavy and consistent rain in Gainsville ultimately pushed back the scheduled November opening. The weather prevented some fence work and final grading, according to the Gainsville Times. The 27,000-square-foot facility was designed by Augusta, Ga.-based Studio 3 Design Group and constructed by an inmate mobile construction crew, which is saving the county millions, according to Walt Davis, warden for the facility. The facility would have cost the county $6.5 million to construct, but since they are using the Georgia Department of Corrections inmate labor program, the cost was brought down to $3.2 million, according to Davis.
The new facility will have 200 beds — down from its previous 240 beds. Davis explained that because of Georgia’s criminal justice reform efforts there are fewer inmates in the system now. The previous facility was built back in 1963 and renovated in 1982.
“It truly is just worn-out,” said Davis to the Gainsville Times earlier this summer. “It runs 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It never shuts down.”
The new facility will replace the outdated structure with a more modern and efficient design. Upon completion Davis said that the staff is going to train with the new jail management system before inmates move in.