YADKINVILLE — After years in the making, Yadkin County welcomed its new detention center Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The county’s new jail system was dedicated by local and regional dignitaries in a 2 p.m. ceremony.
Veterans from VFW Post 10346 presented the American Flag and the VFW colors while the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance. Lt. Dawn Pardue sang the National Anthem.
Pastor Allen Barker of Northwood Baptist Church led the crowd in a prayer to bless the new building in its mission, asking the Lord to help those who spend time behind these bars to hear about Jesus and turn their lives around.
Fifth District Rep. Virginia Foxx echoed the sentiment when she spoke later in the ceremony. She told the audience that they had something to be proud of with the new jail, and she also hoped those who commit crimes would turn their lives around after spending time inside.
Foxx congratulated the board of commissioners and Sheriff Ricky Oliver for the jail’s completion. She told the audience that they had something to be proud of in the jail and the county’s leadership.
Plans for the jail began Jan. 3, 2011, though the idea for the jail and its first mention were even earlier than that.
That January the county began sending out proposals for architects. Grading as part of Phase I of the jail began later that year.
The county went out for bids again as part of Phase II on March 8, 2012, with actual construction beginning June 1.
Construction ended roughly 16 months later.
The new jail connects to the old two-story facility by a corridor. Female prisoners will be housed in the old jail’s 29 beds, while the men are housed in the new portion’s 72 beds — totalling 101 beds, the state regulated number.
The facility totals about 31,000 square feet, with a construction cost of $6.6 million.
Oliver welcomed those in attendance to tour the facility and eat refreshments in one of the prison’s detention sections. Additional tours were available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More staff-led tours will be available Dec. 30-31, and Jan. 2-3, at the same times.
Oliver asked that groups of 20 or more call the sheriff’s office and provide advance notice of their attendance.
After staff training and final preparations are made inmates will be transferred to the prison. Oliver said the plan is to have the jail fully operational and housing inmates by the end of January.
Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.