Wichita Co. breaks ground on phase one of Law Enforcement Center

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Ground is being broken at the site of the future Wichita County Jail and Law Enforcement Center in a busy week for commissioners with the project.

"We will be putting in a new parking lot and lighting to service the Vernon College portion of the building because the new facility, the footprint of the building, will take up much of the existing parking," Precinct 1 Commissioner, Mark Beauchamp said.

Phase one of the $70 million project is underway and also includes a new security fence.

"We settled on a drawing for that Tuesday," Commissioner Beauchamp said. "So the project should kick off pretty quickly."

And that wasn't even the biggest news on Tuesday. Commissioners were notified that their conceptual designs have been approved by the Texas Jail Commission.

"We're very pleased that we got past that big monumental hurdle," Commissioner Beauchamp said.

They also now have renderings for the front lobby so people can see, and will shift their attention to the construction documents.

"It's been a long time coming," Commissioner Beauchamp said. "The facilities that we have right now have outlived their usefulness."

Commissioner Beauchamp believes it was about a month for commissioners to review the documents and two months for them to be finalized.

Once it happens the county will prepare for construction to begin on the building in July.

"I'm a very impatient person. So it seems like it's moving slowly to me," Commissioner Beauchamp said. "But we are hitting our milestones fairly closely within our schedule. So I see that continuing."

He said that seeing dirt being turned excites him, but he will really be excited when he's seeing nails being hammered.

The project remains on budget and on schedule.

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