Lawrence Co. jail committee meeting to choose design firm

Lawrence Co. jail committee meeting to choose design firm

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Lawrence County Jail Committee will meet Monday night to decide which design firm will help with the new jail facility.

The current jail was given a six month probation period in September after the Arkansas Jail Standards Committee voted to close it due to violations in the jail.

Since that time, the location for the jail was narrowed down to 3 choices.

The Higgenbotham property in Walnut Ridge, an empty field owned by the county in Walnut Ridge, and the old Black Rock School are the options for the new facility.

Before a location can be selected Lloyd Clark, head of the jail committee, said a design firm must be chosen.

Clark isn't sure which location will be chosen, but there are many different people behind each choice.

"There hasn't been any feedback that I'm aware of on other locations other than these 3," Clark said. "There are pros and cons and people behind each of these 3 locations."

He said the design firm will help the county choose which of the locations would be best for the jail.

"The design firm chosen will then help us to decide between the three locations, doing more in depth cost analysis, environmental analysis, demographic future growth analysis and that sort of thing," Clark said.

Clark said the state placed a lot of pressure on them to get the new jail built.

Once the location is decided, the county will then figure out how to pay for the project.

Clark said the design firms estimate the overall cost being anywhere between $8 and $14 million depending on location.

On Monday, the committee will make a recommendation to the judge on which design firm to use.

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