WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Wichita County commissioners determined the costs for the new Wichita County Jail and Jail Annex is still within budget at a design and development meeting on Thursday.
County Commissioner Precinct-1 Mark Beauchamp said they are right on target for the $70 million budget residents voted for last year.
He said it was difficult to meet budget when regulated security features are factored in.
"We knew what that budget was pretty much going in," Beauchamp said. "However, detention equipment is a large percentage of the budget."
He said prices for some of those security features went up because of the demand for some of those materials, in what he called a 'closed market.'
"A lot of detention facilities being built so that is driving some of the costs upwards from our initial estimates a year ago," Beauchamp said.
He said how the commissioners made the budget was by looking at several estimates and options which required adjustments to the original design plans.
Some of those changes included a reduction in the square footage of the warehouse (saving $109,000), the parking lot (saving $105,000), the inmate transport area (saving $84,000) and using stain concrete in the jail instead of tiles (saving $63,000). Altogether a minimum of a quarter of a million in savings was made.
Beauchamp said they are also looking to save money on some security features like cameras.
"Obviously we have to meet minimum standards and we will meet minimum standards but there is some value in looking at other manufacturers," he said.
Construction is expected to begin by mid-July or early-August. Beauchamp said it should be built two years after.