Project to Rebuild Dallas County Jail Underway
From the West Alabama Newsroom–
The Dallas County Jail was severely damaged by the January 12th tornado. Phase I of the rebuilding project — is currently underway at the facility.
The January 12th tornado — tore the roof off of the Dallas County Jail — flooding the facility — and causing extensive damage inside the building.
A temporary roof is now on the building. But the facility remains without power.
Sheriff Mike Granthum says restoring power will show the true extent of the damage to the facility.
“Because everything is controlled by electrical panels,” he said.
“You see a key turning door, that’s a back-up mechanism. Everything now is done digital, everything’s done with cameras, everything’s done electronically. Mash a button and a door rolls. We don’t even know what motors, until we get power, we don’t even know how many door motors are torn up. We don’t know how many light fixture have to be replaced.”
Granthum says the bones of the building are believed to be sound.
“The structure was built in 1969. So it’s pretty sound. I mean, the techniques they used back then was steel and concrete.”
But the inside of the facility will have to be rebuilt.
“We’re talking walls, we’re talking floors, we’re talking doors, we’re talking toilets, we’re talking ceilings. But it’s going to have to be to federal standards because I mean, we’re housing inmates and no inmates are going to be put back in this jail until it’s 100% compliant. So it can’t be any short cuts done. It’s going to have to be done right.”
About 130 inmates had to be removed from the jail following the tornado. And they remain housed in other facilities.
“Thank goodness we have these sheriffs that have stepped up housing our inmates because if I didn’t have them, I’d be in trouble,” said Granthum.
Granthum say the entire project will likely cost millions of dollars — and several years — to complete.