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Jail may increase size with additional 250 beds
Sheriff Jackie Matheny stands inside Warren County Jail, which is in need of another expansion. The cost estimate has been increased to $7.5 million.

Warren County is moving forward with a possible expansion of its jail, but with a couple of changes.
Bids will be taken on architectural services and the estimated cost of the project has increased to $7.5 million.
The county Building and Grounds Committee met to discuss the issues.
“It’s a 250-bed expansion. Approximately 30,000 square foot would be added to the jail and we have to approve this in order for Financial Management to consider it,” said Commissioner Carl E. Bouldin, committee chair. “It’s not to exceed $7.5 million.”
During a prior Safety Committee meeting, a discussion was held that architect Derrick Clemow would be hired to review the current jail and offer his professional opinion on a possible expansion. Warren County Executive Herschel Wells says that did not pan out.
“We talked to him about it, but we didn’t follow through with that,” said Wells. “We are going to bid this out and it has to go through Building and Grounds Committee.”
The cost estimate has also changed, going to $7 million to $7.5 million. Wells says that increase is to cover additional items associated with the project, but the county is holding out hope the cost will be less.
“I was told that it would probably run around $7 million and the reason it went up another $500,000 is to take care of engineering, fire marshal, architect, soil testing and everything else,” said Wells. “We are hoping it will come in a lot cheaper than that.”
Until bids are received, the actual cost will not be known.
Overcrowding at the jail has been an issue for years. It has a capacity of 251 prisoners. However, there have regularly been more than 300. The state has instructed the county to correct the problem. A 250-bed expansion will double the size.
Committee members Bouldin, Carolyn Miller, Kenny Roberts and Michael Shane Wilcher approved the jail architect request for proposals. Commissioner David Rhea was absent.