Pender County Commissioners to hear details on proposed $32 million jail Monday

GF Default - Pender County planning new jail
GF Default - Pender County planning new jail
Published: Aug. 16, 2020 at 1:47 PM EDT
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BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - Overcrowding at the Pender County Jail has been a concern for county officials for years. Just last year the Pender County Sheriff’s Office transported 1,042 inmates to be held at other facilities costing taxpayers thousands. The county has discussed the need for a new jail, but until now, costs for that were unknown, according to county documents, a new jail is expected to cost around $32 million.

In 2019, County Commissioners and Governor Roy Cooper approved a transfer of approximately 100 acres from the state to the county for the purpose of building a new jail. Now, county leaders are getting a look at just how much the new jail could cost and what it could look like.

Almost 10 years ago the county had plans drawn up for a new Jail and Law Enforcement Center. Moseley Architects completed the designs back in 2011, but cost estimates have been brought up to 2020 standards, and the county is looking at nearly $45 million to complete a new jail and law enforcement center.

“The amended estimated cost for the new Jail is $32,391,833.13. And the new Law Enforcement Center estimated cost is $11,600,367.19,” according to the Pender County Commissioners agenda for Monday.

It isn’t just a new jail that the county needs, the Law Enforcement Center would also provide new spaces for a 911 center, radio tower, a logistics equipment warehouse, and more.

“The new facility will provide additional services for the Pender County Jail and Law Enforcement Center. The Project entails updating the Needs Assessment conducted in October 2011 of the existing Jail Facility to verify current and future number and classification of jail beds for Pender County. This will also verify Sheriff’s space needs from the previous study as well, and to identify future growth,” according to the county.

The new jail, as designed, would include two 47-bed medium male units, one 44-bed female unit with mixed security, two 24-bed male maximum security units, and two 20-bed minimum custody dormitories. The project would be 65,000 square feet and have a total of 226 beds.

The agenda only lists the item as a presentation so it is unlikely the County Commissioners will take any sort of action approving the construction of the jail or funding for it; Sheriff Alan Cutler will be giving the presentation.

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