Weather Hinders Jail Construction - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Weather Hinders Jail Construction

Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Where dozens of inmates live now could house hundreds of business people and tourists in the near future.

A rough winter combined with a busy spring so far has put construction on the addition to the Randall County Jail about a month behind.

More workers are out there now to try to speed things up.

The $7 million project adds almost 150 beds to the current facility, meaning the total capacity will be 454 beds.

The addition also means more room for outlying counties to send inmates when they do not have room for them.

Sheriff Joel Richardson says, "we have a few from Moore County right now. I know Gray County had contacted us but we weren't ready. We couldn't handle them right that minute."

Once the addition is finished - the sheriff hopes that will be in July - inmates from the Amarillo city jail will also move to Randall County.

The city jail will close down. Then, Amarillo City Manager Alan Taylor says "the old jail, police station and courts buildings will be torn down in the future.  This site then could be the future location of a downtown convention center hotel."

Bids are coming in from people interested in the property.

The buildings are in the tax increment reinvestment zone, and TIRZ members hope for something to be done with it by 2013.

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