Comal County, TX, has begun construction on a new county jail that will cost upwards of $76 million to complete, according to estimates. The jail will be able to hold 600 inmates and also include a 16-bed infirmary, a place for booking complete with temporary holding cells, and a visitation area for both families and attorneys.
The new jailhouse will replace the current one in use, completed in 1985. The current jailhouse can only fit 144 inmates, but was then expanded to fit 337 in 1999. However, overcrowding has become a problem for the county after a population explosion occurred in 2000, just one year after jailhouse expansions was completed. The daily inmate count at the current jail is around 320, and maintenance fees on the old jailhouse have reached around $200,000 annually. This does not include major projects, such as a complete overhaul of the plumbing that cost $600,000 in 2011, according to the county’s website.
The new jailhouse construction will be headed by HDR, which has offices all around the state of Texas. HDR has been involved in a lot of recent jailhouse projects around the state, including new sites in Tyler and El Paso. “We’re recognized as a national leader in justice design, with a robust justice practice based in Dallas, Texas. Our team has planned and designed justice facilities for 41 years, with over 200,000 beds in detention facilities, using a collaborative design process,” according to HDR Justice Director Mike Brenchley.