After being as much as several weeks behind schedule in the construction of the new $16 million Hopkins County jail because of weather, workers have been busy making up time. The project is now only five days behind schedule, with a completion date in late November, according to Sedalco Project Superintendent Gary Johnson.
“Right now, we're looking, hopefully, at Nov. 25, but that's going to fluctuate a little bit as far as the jail part goes,” Johnson said. “We've got finish paint going on, got tape and bed going on in the administrative area right now, and then the painters will come back next week and start painting out all that.”
While receiving supplies at the jail site Monday morning, Johnson gave a quick update on the progress.
Brick work, the project superintendent said, is almost complete on the new building, and the masons will be back next week to take on some minor details. Punch-list items are being checked off and locks are being installed on all the doors.
“The standard doors, all metal, will be completed Wednesday,” Johnson said. “We are going to have air conditioning. They are going to start the units Aug. 12, and it will take two or three weeks to get all the units going. We have already started the non-slip floors in the showers.”
Furniture for the detention areas of the jail is due to be delivered around the middle of September.
“From then on, we will be starting our floors in September and finishing up areas,” Johnson said. “On the exterior, we are going to start [Tuesday] and finish up our water lines. After that, we will do the dirt work for the drive — the concrete guy will finish that and, hopefully, he should be putting in the driveway and finishing up.”
However, when the new jail is completed, the county will not immediately begin moving inmates into the facility.
“There are a lot of things that have to take place,” Johnson said. “We have to change over [communications] antennas, have to change over communications, which we can't start doing that until we get the Texas Jail Commission here.”
Construction on the new jail began earlier this year following voter approval of the $16 million bond issue to fund construction of the project.
The new jail will replace an outdated facility that has been long plagued by overcrowding, mechanical problems and equipment issues.