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Excavations part of efforts to complete new jail

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By PETER SAWYER

The hole that has been dug next to the Campbell County Jail is part of a project to expand the jail and courthouse.
The Campbell County Jail currently has 90 beds and houses an average of about 170 inmates, said Captain Eric Jones of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. The new jail will hold 233 additional beds.
After completing phase one of the project this summer, Merritt Construction begun excavating in preparation to construct the new jail and justice center.
“It’s come along,” jail committee chair Rusty Orick said. “Still in budget. It’s doing good. I’m just glad it’s underway. It’s been a long, hard battle.”
The project was divided into two phases. The first phase involved building new laundry, medical and kitchen facilities and a new district attorney general’s office. Phase one was finished this summer.
“Phase one had to be done,” Jones said.
Phase one had to be completed first because the old kitchen, laundry and medical facilities and D.A.’s offices had to be demolished in order to make room for the new jail cells and justice center, which are part of phase two. New facilities had to be constructed before the old ones were demolished. The old facilities were also demolished this summer.
Now Campbell County can continue to provide laundry, medical and food to prisoners in the current jail and the district attorney general has access to new offices.
Excavations began in the site for phase two in September. During phase two, Merritt Construction will erect the three-story building that will house new jail cells and the justice center.
“It’s two stories and a mezzanine, basically three stories,” Jones said.
The first two floors will hold the 233 cells in an open mezzanine with catwalks.
“The first two levels is the cells,” Orick said.
The justice center will be located on the top floor and contain courtrooms and offices.
The general public won’t have access to the new jail facility.
“None of the prisoners will see outside,” Campbell County Special Projects Manager Stan Marlow said. An elevator will take them from the cells in the new jail facility to a holding cell in the justice center as they wait to go to trial in the new courtrooms.
The building is designed so that the second floor of the new structure will be level with the second floor of the current jail and the second floor of the kitchen facilities. The justice center will be on the same level as the D.A.’s offices.
In order to accomplish this, the first floor of the new building had to be underground. Therefore, Merritt Construction had to dig deep during its excavation.
“They’ve done dug it about as low as they need,” Orick said. “They’re just back filling.”
Merritt Construction had to go about eight feel below what they originally intended to have a sturdy foundation, Stan Marlow said.
Phase two should be completed during the spring of 2014, Jones said.