OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) – After years of planning, a jail is set to open in Oldham County later this year.

Right now, the Oldham County jail located in downtown La Grange has 115 beds. It was built in 1989, and right now it's filled beyond capacity.

“In 2016, our average head count was 145, and we peaked at 172,” jailer Mike Simpson said.

The new facility being built on 20 acres of land on KY-146 in Buckner will have more than 300 beds.

“It's going to be exciting, I believe, for the people of Oldham County,” Simpson said.

When initial planning began back in 2011 for the new jail, the hope was to have a new facility open in November of 2016. That was ultimately pushed back to November of 2017. The cost of the project is $21 million.

“There's only two full-service jails between Jefferson County and Boone County, so the need there was obvious,” Simpson said.

Simpson says the design of the jail is "near perfect."

“What we've been able to do with the design features is staff can literally be at one end of the building, and there is a direct line of sight on every one of the corridors,” Simpson said.

Simpson says that if necessary, the new facility has the ability to expand to 500 beds. Oldham County also holds inmates for neighboring counties as well as the U.S. Marshals, and now they will partner with Immigration Services.

When prisoners are eventually moved later this year, Simpson says it creates an interesting set of challenges.

"We will still have to maintain security at the current facility while we transition into this,” Simpson said. “There will probably be a short window where we will have staff at both locations and inmates at both locations.”

Simpson says the new facility will also require nearly double the staff. 

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