The new Logan County Jail, which will be built on South Lowder Street in Paris, cleared a hurdle last week.
After a two-hour meeting Friday, the three members of the 15th Judicial District Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee unanimously approved the design of the facility, finding that the plans are in compliance with Arkansas Criminal Detention Facility Standards.
“That means we’re going to move forward,” Logan County Judge Ray Gack said after the meeting, which was held at the county Office of Emergency Management building in Paris. “As soon as we hear from the State Fire Marshal, we can advertise for bids. The bid packages are completed, so if the fire marshal approves, we’re ready to advertise for bids.”
The 40,000-square-foot, 100-bed facility is being funded by a 1 percent sales tax increase approved by voters last year. The new jail will replace the existing facility on Grober Street in Paris, which was build in the 1980s. The existing jail consistently failed inspections and was overcrowded.
At Friday’s meeting, J. Sterling Penix, the coordinator for the Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committees, went through the existing jail standards and Jo Minden of Paris, of Biggerstaff, Minden and Associates PA, the architectural firm that designed the new jail, showed the committee how the design met standards.
When the presentation concluded, review committee members voted to approve the plans. Review committee members are Trisha Sikes of Danville, chairman, Michael Hammonds of Magazine and Ryan Rogers of Scranton.