LACONIA — Ground was broken Tuesday afternoon on a $7.3 million project which will see an 18,000-square-foot, 64-bed community corrections facility built next to the current county jail, which will have repairs and renovations as part of the project.
Belknap County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton), who chaired the jail planning committee which came up with a design for the new facility, said that a little over 18 months ago there was talk of a $42 million plan for a new jail and said that a well-thought out program was developed which brought in a plan which is both affordable and holds great promise for dealing with inmates who have drug and alcohol addiction problems.
The community corrections center will feature a rigorous regimen of substance abuse, mental health and educational programs and services, which Corrections Superintendent Keith Gray says the county currently lacks. The new facility will have 64 beds, 44 for men and 20 for women and will have mental health and drug abuse professionals available on site to provide programs for inmates.
The architectural plans were developed by Sheer, McCrystal, Palson Architecture Inc. of Concord and project manager Anthony Mento of the firm says that plans call for the project, including renovations, to be completed in September of 2017.
The county commission has hired Bauen Construction of Meredith as construction manager for the project.
The Belknap County Delegation last November unanimously approved an $8 million bond for building the community corrections center and renovation of parts of the current county jail, which will now have 60 beds.
County officials gathered for the official groundbreaking of a new Belknap County corrections facility on Tuesday. Renovations will also be done to the current facility. Construction should be completed by September 2017. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun.)