GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Construction on the new Gallia County Jail is moving along with only reported minor delays.
The Gallia County Board of Commissioners met with Granger Construction and DLZ consulting, Thursday afternoon for an update on the building.
Granger Construction is the managing contractor over the project and DLZ is the architecture and engineering company working with the county.
Commission President Harold Montgomery said the meeting was a progress report.
“AEP has removed the overhead lines and we’ve connected the courthouse with the new service,” Montgomery said. “[They’re] presently putting in footers.”
This week more workers will arrive on-site as the project moves to the next step. Montgomery said there will be a few nuisances at times, but asks for the public’s patience and understanding.
“[I’d] also like to make mention next week, mid-week… they’re going to start driving some piling and it’s going to create some noise,” Montgomery said. “That’s going to last for about, maybe six to seven working days and then after that, [it] should reduce any excess noise in the area, just general construction after that. This is something we need to do in order to shore up some of the edges of our construction site where we’re going to locate a basement in the jail.”
Montgomery said the original estimated completion date was September of 2022. He said the change in overhead electric service to underground took a little extra time, but he thinks it will get back on track.
The county has been able to avoid a COVID-related supply delay due to the contractor pre-ordering materials earlier in the year.
“We were told when they were delivering the steel, had we not had an early order in, it would be a year out [from] now receiving that,” Montgomery said. “So, our construction manager… they’re working very diligently and staying ahead of the game trying to keep materials and equipment at pace, ahead of construction.”
Ground was broken for the 32,000 square-foot facility in June and will increase the overall holding capacity.
“Our current jail is certified as 11 and this jail is 120 beds,” Montgomery said. “We have a population of approximately 65-70 right now. So, this will be an adequate jail for Gallia County and allow us to have the ability to rent out some extra bed space.”
Montgomery said the original jail, housed in the basement of the Gallia County Courthouse was built in 1964.
“And previous to that, the jail was where the parking lot is on the front corner and that was built in the thirties,” Montgomery said. “The jail has always been right here, where it’s not like us bringing in [a] jail into downtown.”
Given the location is hardly moving, Montgomery said most of the community have been supportive. He said there is a reason for its location.
“The main purpose is that being adjacent to your courts, where you can walk prisoners to and fro, and you’re not having to transport them in a vehicle and bring them in and transport them back,” he said.
Montgomery said the county is spending around $700-800,000 over the present budget for transporting individuals to housing. He said the new jail will help eliminate that issue, relieve stress on transporting and allow the available space to be rented to neighbors.
Montgomery said the new jail is “probably the largest project the county has ever taken on.” As previously reported by the Tribune, the project is estimated to cost roughly $20 million, with funding secured via the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.”
“We just ask for everyone to be patient and we will try to be good neighbors with this,” Montgomery said. “I know it’s going cause some disruption. There’s gonna be some noise, there’s gonna be some dust, but it will be short-lived and it will be an asset to Gallia County.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (740) 444-4303.