Wichita Co. Commissioners moving forward on construction of new jail

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita County Commissioners and the Sheriff's Office are now moving forward on a new jail after a $70 million dollar bond was passed by voters this weekend.

They were excited when the numbers came in.

For decades the county has worked on getting a jail bond on the ballot.

Now that one has passed, they are moving into the planning stages of jail construction, all in hopes to open the doors sometime in 2019.

It will be able to hold 672 inmates and book 72 people at one time, 57 more than the current setup.

"Our job now is to see what can we do to provide the best facility," Wichita County Judge, Woody Gossom said. "And even if we can pare down some of that cost, that wouldn't hurt anything. The next step is to get with the architects and determine whether we are going to do a design-build type or construction manager at risk, or put it straight out for a bid with plans that our architectural groups have drawn and people bid that."

Last month Curt Parde, Vice President of H.O.K. Architecture, was optimistic the bond would pass.

"I think that most everybody seems to understand that there is definitely a need for a jail facility here in Wichita County that is more modern, up-to-date, and provides better services for the county," Parde said.

Voters agreed.

County officials are excited about the opportunity to have, what they believe, will be a safer and more efficient jail that should save them money from maintenance costs once the bond is paid off.

Judge Gossom said it is too early right now to know when ground will be broken on the project.

He also said that despite 2019 being their target year, that could change depending on a number of factors.

Wichita County Sheriff, David Duke, presented the idea Monday to commissioners about possibly naming the facility after one of their fallen employees.

However, that is still in the early stages.

Judge Gossom said if anyone has any questions, give him a call at (940)-766-8101.

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