Supervisors hire construction manager for new jail in Lee County

The action is the first step in what will be a long process

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Before any dirt is turned or plans are drawn up for the new jail and justice complex, Lee County Supervisors had to take the first step: hiring a construction manager as an advisor.

Century Construction was hired. Now, work will start on the initial phase.

“With the help of architects and consultants, they develop the scope of the project, what county needs, how it will lay out, and our job in that is to come back with constructionability  and cost estimates,” said Colin Maloney, of Century Construction.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said he has had weekly meetings with architects who are looking at every detail of the day-to-day jail operation.

“You’re looking at a major project here, they take into consideration every avenue, and leg of justice system, from court, to the morgue, to juvenile detention,  I think they will look at an overall cost if they met every need, then they will whittle that down, to point of, the actual, these are the absolutes,” Johnson said.

Board of Supervisors President Wesley Webb said while some asked for a delay on today’s vote, it was vital to start the process.

Everybody says we have been pushing everything through, this has been going on since before I was a supervisor, and I’ve been elected for three years, now, it’s time to take the ball, get everything rolling, because we have got to have a jail,” Webb said.

All questions about the size and scope of the jail and justice complex, along with a proposed cost and timeline, should be answered the last Monday of August when Century Construction and the architects make their presentation to the Board of Superisors.

Lee County currently sends some inmates to the Itawamba County Jail because there isn’t enough space in Lee County’s jail.

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