LAMPASAS — Lampasas County Sheriff Jess Ramos says it’s time for a new county jail, and with the item up for a bond election May 6, construction work on a new facility could begin soon.
“The current jail is a 37-bed facility,” he said. “We are having to house 23 to 25 inmates in other county jails because we are normally at capacity.”
The new jail, if approved, would be a 112-bed facility and would be south of the city on U.S. Highway 183.
“The county has already purchased and paid for the 12.65 acres of land on (U.S. Highway) 183,” Ramos said. “The current jail has been in use since at least 1971, and it is time for a new facility.”
The new facility is expected to cost about $18 million. A new jail also was proposed in 2008, but voters at the time voted against constructing the new building.
According to Ramos, the new building would function as more than just a jail; it also would be the new headquarters of the sheriff’s office.
“The building would be a self-contained law enforcement center, set up on a pod pattern rather than a linear pattern,” he said. “You wouldn’t even really be able to tell it was a jail from the outside, and no prisoners would be visible from the outside.”
Lampasas County Judge Wayne Boultinghouse supports the move for a new facility.
“We have done a lot of groundwork in getting a new law enforcement center here,” Boultinghouse said. “We tried to get one several years ago, but the voters said no, so hopefully, we can get one now.”
The new law enforcement center and jail would have a total combined square footage of 54,633. The current sheriff’s office and jail are less than a quarter of that size at 8,926 square feet.