NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Floyd County has signed off on a multi-million-dollar funding plan to renovate and expand its jail.

The Floyd County Council approved funding Tuesday with a 20-year bond up to $19.5 million. Sheriff Frank Loop said the overall capacity would increase by 100 from the current total of 243.

“We identified if we could add triple bunks in here instead of double bunks, we could add over 100 beds,” Loop said.

Included in the additional 100 beds is converting an outdoor recreation area into a new 48-unit cell block.

"We won't have to move any inmates out of here during the construction," Loop said. "We can keep all of our inmates, and that will save us over $1 million a year."

Loop said some of the money the county received from selling Floyd Memorial Hospital will be used to help fund the project, but the final amount is still unclear.

"We won't know until the bids come back in how much the project will be," he said. "It could very well be a lot lower than that, and then they can come back and re-size the bond to a lower number."

The building is over capacity, and the facility was designed to house fewer inmates.

“The kitchen was designed for 126 inmates. We have over 300 in here," Loop said. "So when you’re feeding a 1,000 meals a day, the kitchen is totally inadequate."

Loop acknowledged the building does not meet many new building codes and regulations.

“This reduces our litigation. It puts us in compliances with current federal and state standards, and it will put off spending $75 million for a new facility somewhere else,” he said.

Loop wants construction to begin by July. He said the work should take about nine months to finish.

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