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County accepting bids for new jail

The Pike County Commission set the stage to move into the construction phase for a new jail at its Monday night meeting.

County Administrator McKenzie Wilson said the development of the jail project had been about a four year process and the groundbreaking on the $45 million facility could possibly come as early as March.

The commission approved an amendment to its contract with TCU Consulting Services, LLC., which would allow the pre-fabricated jail cells to be placed on site early in the construction phase, which would give the general contractor more flexibility in scheduling.

The new jail will be located in the Dunbar Housing Project area near the intersection of Gibbs Street and North Three Notch Street. Wilson said a feasibility study for the new jail determined that it would be too expensive to build a multi-story building on the existing site adjacent to the Pike County Courthouse, so an alternative site had to be selected. 

Wilson said the new Pike County Jail will be a 175-bed facility that includes a judicial center. Wilson said the feasibility study also indicated it would be less expensive to include a judicial facility in the new jail complex instead of transporting prisoners from the jail to the Pike County Courthouse.

The commission also approved JMR+H Architects to design an accompanying Emergency Management Agency/911 building on the site for the jail. Wilson said the budget for the EMA/911 building was about $4 million. Wilson said the EMA/911 building would handle centralized dispatching duties for county law enforcement agencies.

Finally, the commission will open bids for the jail on Feb. 4. Wilson said commissioners will need time to review the bids and could possibly award a bid in February. The commission’s first meeting in February will be on the eighth.