NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – Inside Floyd County Jail, construction crews stay busy working on improvements to expand and repair the facility.
These renovations have been a long time coming, Sheriff Frank Loop said.
“Well, I’m pretty passionate about it because it needs to be done and there was really no alternative,” Loop said. “The biggest problem I had, when I took over as sheriff was every time it rained, water’s running in the building, we have constant plumbing problems, our electronics that run the facilities are no longer made. And as we went forward to see what we had to do with upgrades for the building, we found we could add 115 beds and that would remove people from sleeping on the floor and give each of them a bunk.”
The expansion will expand the capacity to around 325 inmates, a number that’s in line with the facility’s current needs. Loop said they typically house 300 to 315 inmates these days.
Work on the $14.5 million renovation project began in November. Crews will install skylights for natural light, seal up windows and work to convert the recreation area and library into living quarters for inmates.
Unless you’re looking at the jail from the rooftop, you won’t notice a change to the building itself with these renovations. But Loop says on the inside, that’s all different, and there’s not one part of the building that won’t be improved.
Once crews inside finish the recreation area and library conversion, they can start moving inmates in and working on other areas block by block. Getting these renovations done while keeping inmates safe and secure at the same time hasn’t been easy.
“That is our biggest challenge, is to keep inmates and court operations separate from the construction,” Loop said.
Improvements to the jail will help Floyd County meet constitutional standards for inmates. Construction work on the project is expected to wrap up by September.