MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – The Marshall County Jail renovation and repair project is almost complete.
Cell block A smelled strongly of high-grade bleach on Wednesday as crews get it ready for inmates again. Workers were doing mold remediation and conduit repairs.
The jail is in the final stages of the renovation and repair phase.
“Once that’s done, this jail will last another 20, 25 years or longer as long as we keep the routine yearly maintenance, annual maintenance up of the building itself which we will do,” said Marshall County sheriff Phil Sims.
The multi-million dollar project will bring the jail up to state and national codes and make it ADA compliant.
Sims told News 19 it will save the county and taxpayers money in the long run.
“There’s a lot of preventative stuff being done now so things don’t crop up in the future. Our goal is to run this thing professional, up to code, to minimize any liability to the county and to the taxpayers,” explained Sims.
One big aspect is the roof.
Crews have shaped expanding insulating foam to ensure water properly goes to the drainage system.
There is also another layer of protection. The project manager told News 19 the primer layer is the biggest factor to a high-quality, long-lasting, leak-proof roof.
Crews are expected to finish up the roof over the weekend.
The project is not adding beds, which the jail desperately needs.
“We are averaging 240 to 250 inmates on a daily basis. That’s above our capacity but maintaining what we’ve got. You have to consider when I took office, we had over 300 inmates in this building. Our capacity is 196,” added Sims.
Sheriff Sims says the overcrowding here is due to overcrowding and COVID-19 issues at the state level.
“This jail hasn’t been expanded since 2000, so it’s something we are going to have to address once these renovations are done,” said Sims.
The renovation and repairs are expected to be done within the next couple of months. The county will assess the blueprints and put the plans out for bid early next year.