Commissioners Pick Land For New Jail, Law Enforcement Complex

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UPDATED: Tuesday January 14, 2014 6:07 PM

County leaders have a plan in the works for a new site to house prisoners.

On Tuesday, The Franklin County Commissioner's Office approved the spending of more than $1.3 million on a piece of land.

The 23-acre site is an old dairy farm located at 2551 Fisher Road in west Columbus and nestled between the Columbus police training academy and SWAT headquarters.

Commissioners say this is the first step toward building a "public safety campus" on the west side.

10TV was granted access to where inmates are currently housed in the downtown jail and where its age is showing.

There's chipped paint, graffiti laced walls and broken shower curtains. County leaders say the new complex is necessary for the overall picture.

The total cost of the new facility is expected to be funded with a half-cent sales tax that went into effect on New Year's Day.

The entire complex, when complete, will include a jail, forensic labs and coroner's offices and just down the road, SWAT and K9 facilities.

The county tells 10TV they felt it was a critical move in the right direction.

"The current jail is in very bad shape, it is old, and it is also designed for the time period in which it was built," said John O'Grady with the Board of Commissioners. "Corrections have changed, the way we handle incarcerations all completely changed since those days a generation ago.”

The board will now move to the design phase of the project which could have a total cost of $200 million when completed in roughly four years.

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