Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Jail Is Nearly Ready Nassau: Officials Hoping to Move in Inmates Next Month

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Jail Is Nearly Ready Nassau: Officials Hoping to Move in Inmates Next Month

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Nassau County should start housing inmates at its new $9.5 million jail next month, county officials said.

The completion of the new 314-bed jail is only the first in a complex of county and state buildings planned at the 160-acre site, located off Florida A1A just east of Interstate 95.

Sheriff's personnel already are moving in and beginning their training to run the new jail, officials said. With more than 300 beds, the new facility is almost three times the size of the current county jail.

Construction of the new jail, which began last fall, was budgeted at $9.8 million.

"We're coming in on time and a little under budget," County Coordinator Walt Gossett said.

Gossett said the new jail should be big enough to last for 10 years. Because of the modular design of the jail and the amount of land the county owns around it, additional pods can be added as needed.

"We designed it so we can add up to 630 beds at that site," Gossett said.

Once the new jail is up and running, Gossett said, the county plans to remodel the 55,000-square-foot temporary jail to house the sheriff's detective division.

The new jail is the first of three facilities scheduled to be built at the site. The county began with the jail first because a judge in a federal class action lawsuit, filed by inmates at the county jail, ordered the county to improve conditions, Gossett said.

The county has borrowed $34 million to build the judicial complex, with $1.2 million used to purchase the property, $3.2 million earmarked for infrastructure, $17.5 million for a 117,000-square-foot courthouse, $9.8 million for the jail, $900,000 for a 10,000-square-feet records center and $750,000 for equipment and furnishings, Clerk of Court Chip Oxley said.

The county also will pay $700,000 to Jacobs Facilities, a construction consulting firm with offices around the country, to monitor the courthouse's construction, which is being done by The Haskell Company of Jacksonville, Oxley said.

Oxley said work on the remaining facilities is going well, despite almost $170,000 in additional costs related to site preparation. …

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