Marshall County Commission Chairman addresses issues with new jail roof

Northeast Alabama
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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.- Millions of dollars of renovations are being done to the Marshall County Jail, however, the roof is having some setbacks.

Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson told WHNT News 19 they are putting between $1.5 million and $2 million into getting the jail back in good, working condition.

“We redid the elevator, now we’re redoing some of the cell blocks. We’ve got a mobile command post set up over here. We’re getting ready to redo the first floor. We’ve got to redo the electrical and plumbing,” said Hutcheson.

Contractors finished the roof, which is costing around $180,000, about five weeks ago.

However, there is one problem: standing water.

Hutcheson blames it on inaccurate grading to the flat roof.

“A flat roof is hard to deal with and so after you finish one, most of the time, you have to go back and do the extra work on it. Maybe some of the places weren’t built up exactly right. You don’t need a lot of slope, just enough to get the water into the drain, so it’s hard to tell when you’re putting it down,” explained Hutcheson.

If the standing water is left there long enough, algae could grow in it, but Hutcheson said it shouldn’t impact anyone’s health, just the structure itself.

“Inmates aren’t exposed to that on top of the roof, and I don’t really think that’s a major concern, it’s just if you have standing water it may deteriorate the roof over time,” said Hutcheson.

He told WHNT News 19 that they will have an inspector check the roof next week, depending on holiday schedules.

Hutcheson said he has no doubts the current contractor, Whitaker Construction, will fix the standing water issues.

Hutcheson said he hopes the entire renovation project will be finished by the summer of 2020. Then, the expansion of the jail can begin.

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