Sixty percent of the inside demolition of Side Five is done for the Floyd County Jail medical wing — and Maj. Bob Sapp said Wednesday the wing should be ready for use by the end of 2020.

Sapp, who serves as the jail administrator, has been helping oversee the construction, which is part of a roughly $6 million 2017 special purpose local option sales tax project.

The demolition began back in mid-March, right before the coronavirus pandemic hit Georgia. However, Sapp said that hasn’t caused much of a slowdown in the process, which is being handled by Carroll Daniel Construction.

The project would come to a halt if a jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19, but so far, there haven’t been any cases, he said.

The next step is to cut out and remove the flooring in the former infirmary, which Sapp hopes to have completed by June 19. Three days after that, the jail administrator hopes to start installing the new floor.

“We have to be real careful right now. It’s a slow go, because of all the controlled wiring that has to go through that area and come out of that area,” he said. “It’s just an immense job. We’re taking out everything, up to the roof.”

A lot of the major wiring that is integral to jail operations is in the same area as the construction and demolition. Side Five is part of a 1998 addition to the jail and Sapp said some of the old construction plans and drawings have turned out to be unreliable during the current renovations.

Sapp and construction workers are also looking at either the floor or ceiling to place wiring for the new medical unit. Despite the difficulties concerning the wiring, the jail administrator still says they are on track for completion by the end of the year.

Once the medical unit is completed, construction will begin on the mental health unit that is set for completion by the end of 2021.

After the construction of both units is completed, there will be a total of roughly 40 to 55 beds.

The original plan was for 60 beds, but after going over the facility’s foundations, the costs and the hardware and electrical issues, Sapp said it was decided to cut it down to 55 beds.

Before the mental health wing is finished, the new medical wing will also serve the inmates who have mental health problems.

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