Some Delays, But County Jail Project Moves Forward

jailBROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — A much-needed expansion project at the Jefferson County Jail is well underway.

The $7.4 million project will add 90 beds and make a number of improvements, including adding offices and training facilities for staff members, improve Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, relocate the jail’s administrative offices, add lockers, and improve the dining area.

The new, two-story cell block is in the process of being built. It was set for completion this month, but delays in getting materials to build the security doors and weather-related issues have slowed things. The county did approve a 40-day extension in the event of delays because of lack of materials or other unanticipated reasons.

But, the county didn’t take the delays lying down as certain second phase projects were moved to the first phase.

The new minimum-security cell block will be used to house inmates that have been in a modular unit, which will be removed.

When the modular units were placed 12 years ago, they were meant to be temporary. There have been issues with the roof and floors.

As for the meals, they will still be prepared at the Heritage House in Brookville. The kitchen in the jail is a warming area, and that will remain the same.

Also, there will be two rooms for programs and a larger one for group events. Now, there isn’t much space for outside programs.

The jail currently offers two Bible classes, a church service, GED classes for inmates under 18 years old, an AA program as well as drug, alcohol, and mental health counseling for eligible inmates.

The current administration area will be used for conferences and training. The new area will include a room for records and offices for the warden, deputy warden, and a training officer.

The first phase was set for completion in May with inmates moving to the new cellblock in June. The second phase is set to be completed in March 2017.

Earlier, the Board of Commissioners approved amendments to the $10 million loan that extended the life of the loan without a large penalty. The original loan was due to expire April 15, but S&T Bank agreed to extend the loan, a move that will save the county $180,000.00 over the life of the contract. There will be $5,000.00 in costs and fees, however. The loan was arranged, so the county would not be charged until the funds were used.

New Kensington, Pa.-based Arcon Contracting Inc. is serving as the construction manager on the project. Uniontown, Pa.-based Hranec Sheet Metal will provide HVAC work; Kittanning, Pa.-based Enders Plumbing will provide plumbing work; and Meadville, Pa.-based Cox & Kanyuck Electric will provide electrical work.

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