Logan County Judge Ray Gack got a look at revised plans for the new Logan County Jail to be built in Paris last week. He also got a look at the cost estimate, which is $10.9 million to build the 100-bed facility. That’s more than what Gack has previously promised the jail will cost, which is $10 million.
Gack asked for a revision of plans and a cost estimate after initial bids showed a 132-bed facility would cost about $13.8 million, $800,000 more than the county has to spend and $3.8 million more than Gack wants to spend. Gack has said he doesn’t know why a 132-bed facility was bid when the county only wants a 100-bed jail. In order to bring costs down, Gack and the Quorum Court’s Jail Committee removed a planned court room and cut the jail to a one-story building instead of a two-story building.
Gack said he’s meeting with the Jail Committee again this week to see what the next step will be. Additional cuts could be made or bids could be sought based on the new design, Gack said.
“I think the cost estimate will come down once bids are submitted,” Gack said last week. “Right now, the design is for a 101-bed facility with room to grow. The cost estimate includes everything. It just now depends on what the Jail Committee wants to do.”
The revised plans call for building a 39,450-square-foot building. The initial plans called for a 41,000-square-foot building.
“We’re in the range of what we need to be based on square footage,” Gack said. “The sheriff and I toured a jail in northeast Arkansas this week and costs are in line with what jails are costing to build.”
Gack added that the plans are designed for growth should that be needed in the future.
“There’s room to grow in these plans,” Gack said. “They could add another 100 beds down the road if needed.”
The county is building a new jail because the present facility, located on Grober Street in Paris and built in the 1980s, has consistently been cited for violations of jail standards, ruled overcrowded, understaffed and unsafe. Last July, voters approved a 1 percent increase in county sales taxes. The tax receipts will allow issuing up to $13 million in bonds to build and maintain a new facility. In November, $10 million in bonds were sold.
The jail is being built on county-owned property on South Lowder Street in Paris.
Site preparation work is being done and construction is anticipated to take up to two years.