GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Commissioners and the Gallia Sheriff’s Office met with representatives from engineering and architect firm DLZ once again Thursday to discuss conceptual designs and concerns with ongoing efforts to build a new Gallia Jail along Second Avenue, northeast of the Gallia Courthouse and across the street from the Gallipolis Municipal Court.
Commissioners anticipate having “hard numbers” for the specific cost of the jail’s construction within a month or two.
The “B1” design of current jail schematics places the facility away from from Second Avenue with enough room for a potential semi tractor trailer to drive behind the jail and the property line of the French Art Colony. The county will maintain the alley between Second and First Avenue on the east side of the courthouse. The former Conley Law building could potentially be demolished to allow for a sallyport. The majority of commissioners said they were leaning away from demolishing the building though and potentially in favor of minimizing the sallyport’s area.
Hard, permeable surfaces to potentially be used around the property include pervious concrete, porous asphalt, paving stones and interlocking pavers.
The project could potentially include an underground passageway between the courthouse and the jail for the transportation of inmates. Previously, an overhead path had been discussed.
Plans discussed at the meeting said that the current first floor area of the jail could be around 18,380 square feet with the second floor measuring around 15,000 square feet. The second floor mezzanine area of the jail would allow for 3,550 square feet. Total square footage of the project would be around 36,930.
Rated beds for the facility could include 110 beds in five-cell dorm style housing units with 32 beds in three-cell style housing units for a general population total of 142 beds. Holding cells would include two, four-bed cells; four, two-bed cells; four, one-bed cells and two special custody cells with a total bed count of 18. Adding the two together, the Gallia facility could potentially have a total of 160 beds.
Commissioners have favored what is called an indirect podular remote design for housing inmates. Such a facility has a central monitoring security and control station to cut down on correction officer numbers and allows for a maximum view of all inmate areas. Inmate areas circle the station, which would control all cell locks. Examples of holding areas displayed during the meeting included a ground floor series of cells along with an upper floor mezzanine area with more cells stacked atop the first. The central security station would monitor both sets of cells.
A current analysis done by DLZ of correctional staff with the county reportedly numbered around 20 employees maintaining Gallia Jail needs. Should the new facility operate at ideal targets, 8.25 additional staff may be needed according to the current B1 plans the architects have proposed.
Commissioners have estimated the cost of the jail’s construction could be between $10 million and $15 million.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.