Sketch Of Proposed New Detention Facility Unveiled

The public got the first look at drawings of the proposed new Johnston County Detention Center being planned east of Smithfield.

On Monday, representatives from Moseley Architects presented an update to Johnston County Commissioners on the facility that will be built on Highway 70 East at Yelverton Grove Road behind the John Deere dealership.

The 112,000 square foot facility will have a core design to accommodate 600 inmates but will originally be built to house 469.  A space to allow for future expansion for an additional 131 additional beds is included in the core design.

The jail will feature eleven 39-bed housing units and one 40-bed dormitory. It will also include secure outdoor recreation yards attached to each housing unit, a new state jail requirement.   The facility will include a public lobby, video visitation area, training room, and administrative offices.

Officials said the new jail will be similar to one that’s currently under construction in Granville County, NC.   The projected price tag of the Johnston County Detention Center is $45,028,856.

On the current schedule, design development is anticipated to be completed in August 2019.  The detention facility will advertised for bid in February 2020 with construction starting in May 2020. The new jail should be completed by December 2021.

During the presentation, officials announced 100 jail bed spaces will still be maintained at the existing Johnston County Jail located in the Johnston County Courthouse in Downtown Smithfield.  The existing jail was designed for 191 prisoners but Sheriff Steve Bizzell said the average daily inmate population is now up to 263.  Last year, the sheriff’s office spent $1 million housing prisoners in neighboring Wayne and Sampson County Jails.  The cost is $50 per day per inmate not including medical care, Bizzell said.

That $1 million can be applied toward the debt repayment on the new $45 million jail, with a projected annual loan payment of about $3 million.