Russell County Jail expansion ahead of schedule

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - The multi-million dollar jail expansion in Russell County is actually running ahead of schedule.

Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor says his two biggest concerns with this project are costs and security.

It's the first big project Sheriff Taylor has taken on since being in office, and so far the jail expansion and renovation is a success, "We're about four weeks ahead of schedule. We've got a lot of progress that has occurred, steal standing up, interior walls going up, and block on the outside."

The next step is the building's roof, and the sheriff says that is coming in just a couple of weeks.

Another aspect of the project is the complete remodeling of the existing kitchen inside the jail, which brings up security concerns.

"There's a lot of work to do inside the current jail and that is where we're going to ramp up our security to make sure nothing is left, everyone stays safe, we don't give anyone the opportunity to use something to escape from the jail," said Sheriff Taylor.

The budget for the project also includes the hiring of 13 new deputies, an addition Taylor says is coming in the next few months, "We hope to go ahead and start that process around February or March so that we can hire and soon after that be ready to go to work sometime around August."

During the kitchen renovations inside the jail, inmates will have their meals brought in from a caterer. The sheriff says about 1,000 meals are served there each day, and having them made by an outside source will cost approximately $40,000, but that money was already in this project's budget.

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