Wichita County Commissioners awarded a bid Monday for shower renovations at the Sprague Annex Jail. The bid was awarded to NRB Construction for $184,792.
Currently, 16 showers in the jail annex do not have shower pans. So water is seeping through the concrete, puddling up hallways and weakening the structure. The renovations would add shower pans to help eliminate the flooding of water.
“It’s just basically putting a band-aid on a major gunshot wound,” said Wichita County Sheriff David Duke. “It may work temporarily, but overall it’s not going to be a solution.”
The project bid was estimated to take 150 days, but county commissioners said they’ve arranged it to, instead, take just six weeks. While commissioners hope the fewer workdays will result in a cheaper end cost, the bid does not include the amount it will cost the county to relocate the inmates during the renovations.
The hope is to have a number of repairs completed in time for the jail inspection in May, according to Duke. However, a major problem area will not be fixed in time.
The roof is the source of major leaks throughout the jail annex. Inmate paperwork is waterlogged, and inmates have been forced to relocate in some areas because of the damage to the roof.
“So when it does leak, if it comes into the inmate housing area you have to shut the inmate housing area down and move those out,” said Sheriff Duke.
County commissioners have made efforts to patch up some problem areas on the roof, but officials at the jail say every time a rainstorm comes, new leaks are discovered.
However, although the roof will not be completely replaced by the time of the inspection, Commissioner Lee Harvey said he is optimistic that the jail commission will commend the Wichita County Commissioners on all the work and repairs they’ve been doing this year.
Sheriff Duke said another failing grade could result in serious consequences.
“It’s up to the jail commission, what happens if they come in and we still got bad roof leaks and nothings been done,” said Sheriff Duke. “Then it’s going to be the wrath of the jail commission of the state of Texas that’s going to take care of it pretty quick, that’s going to affect the taxpayers of this county.”
In a situation where the jail would be shut down, it would cost about a half a million dollars every month, according to Sheriff Duke.
He goes on to say that the ultimate goal is for the county to build a completely new jail, but no word on how long that could take.