WATCH: See the progress inside the construction of the new Greene County Jail

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 11:27 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2021 at 11:28 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - KY3 is getting a first look inside the construction of the new Greene County Jail, which began in the Spring.

About 150 people are working on the project now near the Springfield-Branson National Airport. Greene County officials say they are ahead of schedule.

Greene county’s new jail will have about 14-hundred beds, about twice the current jail’s capacity.  And all those beds are nearly in place, as crews set the last pod of precast jail cell modules.

‘We’re setting the last module, actually tomorrow afternoon,” says JE Dunn Construction general superintendent Justin Shorter. “So that’s a big milestone.  288 of those we’ve set, along with thousands of pieces of precast.”

The entire jail is made of concrete.  The cells come complete with everything from the beds to the toilets.  And they’ve all arrived on time.

“We got those under contract early on,” says Kevin Barnes, Greene County Resource Management director. “JE Dunn and DeWitt have worked really hard to make sure there weren’t going to be supply issues through the pandemic.”

The outside walls of the jail are almost all up, except for where crews have left gaps for easier access.

“It’s all precast panels that were made right here in Springfield, just down the road,” says Shorter.

Inside, the jail is made up of several pods, with jail staff able to monitor four pods at a time through windows above.

“So this is a typical pod. We’ve got the pod of cells here with a divider wall, the control room is upstairs in the mezzanine,” says Shorter.

Masons are busy building block walls, with temporary  heat, in the jail’s intake area, and every trade imaginable is working throughout the building on the facility’s many mechanical systems.

Barnes says, “We knew we would have one chance to do this, so they worked on just the efficiencies and the security and every aspect of the jail. We tried to do several tours and interview people who had new facilities and make sure we learned lessons from any mistakes they felt like they made or take advantage of anything they really liked in their designs.”

The sheriff’s office metal framing is complete, and the front of the building is taking shape too, with white precast concrete in place.  They hope to enclose the area and start on the roof in the next couple weeks.

“Come Spring, we’ll be sheet-rocking inside this building,” Shorter says.

The giant crane will be leaving in the next couple of weeks, as the exterior of the jail nears completion.  They’re ahead of schedule and hope the weather continues to cooperate.

“As long as we make it through the winter, almost everything will be enclosed soon,” says Barnes.

Though they’ve made a lot of progress, there is still a lot more work to happen inside. The county still expects the completion date to be around April or May of 2022.

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