At least a third of the parking lot of the Floyd County Jail on New Calhoun Highway is taken up by Carroll Daniel Construction crews Monday, as work gets underway in the first phase of a SPLOST-funded medical wing expansion.

Crews with Carroll Daniel Construction began mobilizing equipment Monday to build the new training center at the Floyd County Jail on New Calhoun Highway.

“They’re starting to dig for the foundation now,” Jail Administrator Bob Sapp said. “That will take about two weeks, then we get it inspected and they pour the slab.”

The prefabricated metal building is expected to be installed by the end of August. But it will take another two or three months to finish the interior, he said.

The building will house classrooms, a weight room, dining area, kitchen, some offices, showers and rest rooms. FCSO personnel are currently training in a temporary trailer on the site.

The center is Phase I of the two-part jail medical expansion project that’s funded from two special purpose local option sales tax packages. Voters approved $2.2 million in the 2013 SPLOST and another $5.2 million in 2017.

Sapp said the training and fitness center was moved out of the jail so that its space can incorporated into the larger project – turning a whole pod into a 60-bed medical and mental health facility.

Construction is slated to be done before the end of 2020.

“For the next 12 to 16 month, parking is going to be tight,” Sapp said, noting that larger equipment and storage trailers also will be moved onsite when the interior work gets underway in earnest.

Some of the work inside – gutting the interior, cutting up concrete and metal fixtures – is already being done by inmate labor crews from the county prison.

“It’s hard work, but these guys can demolish things,” Sapp said. “Thanks to the warden, thanks to the county manager, we’ve saved thousands of dollars already.”

Sapp said he expects to issue a call for bids on the Phase II work within a month. Carroll Daniel Construction is the project manager; Peacock Partnership is the design and engineering firm.

They’re also working to line up fixtures including windows and doors.

“The economy is good, so there’s a huge competition for materials,” Sapp said. “And we’re in an industry where you can’t just go to Home Depot. You’ve got to order months in advance.”

Meanwhile he said they’ll be a little lenient about parking in the lot, “as long as it’s a reasonable spot.” Parking along the edge will likely be overlooked, but the two marked restricted spots are off-limits. They’re reserved for secure swaps, mainly children between custodial and non-custodial parents.

“It’s going to be tight, but there’s really nothing we can do,” Sapp said. “It’s an important project and, even though there’s a short-term inconvenience, in the long term it’s going to be better for everyone.”

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