Amid dirt, cranes and bulldozers, construction is currently well underway at the site of the new Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Jail. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2016, and, despite significant weather delays at the beginning of this year, Dublin Construction Company (Contractor) has made steady progress toward that end.
Site and underground utility work had already begun when a groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 16, 2014. At this ceremony, various City and County Officials spoke of the need for the facility, and the praised collaborative effort by all to see the project become a reality. One official indicated that this is a project that has already “been underway in people’s minds and thoughts for quite some time”, and that it was good to see work begin on the site.
Planning for this project began in earnest in 2011 when the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, Jail Assistance Division, conducted a needs assessment and provided Washington County with recommendations for the new sheriff’s office and jail and in 2013, the citizens of Washington County expressed their approval of the new facility by voting affirmatively for the continuation of a one percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), which will help fund the project. Rusty McCall of McCall Architecture was then commissioned to design the facility. Planning continued with visits by Sheriff Thomas Smith, as well as other County officials and jail personnel, to various jails designed by McCall Architecture, followed by the assessment of various sites, and finally, selection of the site on which the new facility was to be constructed. Design was then completed, Dublin Construction Company was selected as the Contractor from among a total of five bidders, and site and underground utility work began in August, 2014. Since that time, footings and foundations have been poured, block walls are being built, pre-cast concrete components are being placed, and currently, a crane looms overhead while portions of the structural steel system are set in place.
The new facility is approximately 70,000 sq. ft., consisting of an Administration Building and Cell Pod (Super Pod), each designed with Central Control Room for more efficient staffing. Also included is a Multi-Purpose Facility, and due to some resourceful planning and value engineering by the Architect and Contractor during contract negotiations, the project will also include a firing range (additive alternate), shown below.
While the current County Jail is designed to house 52 inmates, the new jail will contain a total of 236 beds, including 12 beds for inmate workers and 12 beds in various holding areas in the Administration Building. This facility will provide much-needed and anticipated relief from overcrowding in the current jail, and since the site is designed such that another cell pod may be added as required in the future, it will serve the needs of this community for many years to come.
Check out our slideshow for more progress photos.