By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON – The Bell County Jail is complete; now all it needs is prisoners.
Skanska USA Building Inc. issued an announcement Tuesday that its work is done – stating that the construction portion of the work on the 177,000-square-foot jail on Loop 121 in Belton is complete – and the facility is ready for county and law enforcement staff to take over full time.
Before the deputies begin to transfer prisoners in February, Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith and the Commissioners Court are giving the public the chance to see it first-hand, inside and out.
On Saturday, an open house for the jail will be from 1 to 3 p.m. in the front courtyard of the new facility, adjacent to the Bell County Justice Complex.
Adan Munoz Jr., executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, will be a featured speaker along with several others. There will be a walk-through with refreshments provided along the way.
With both facilities operating, the county will have space for more than 1,300 inmates. The new jail has the capacity to house 658 inmates as well as a clinic, a kitchen, laundry facilities, a courtroom and administrative offices.
The structure also allows for future expansion that can accommodate 600 more inmates. The $38 million facility incorporates video visitation technology, a digital intercom paging system and two-story inmate housing units.
"Skanska's dedicated team worked hard to complete this state-of-the-art project and we are proud to deliver the jail facility to Bell County on time," said Brian Freeman, Skanska's Area General Manager for Texas. "Despite record rainfall in Texas during this project, our team was able to complete the jail within the proposed 18-month schedule."
County Judge Jon Burrows said the facility is long overdue.
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7568.