Mercer County panel OKs plans for jail construction

MERCER, Pa. -- The Mercer County Prison Board has approved preliminary plans for the new county jail.
L. Robert Kimball and Associates of Twinsburg, Pa. presented those plans during the regular prison board meeting Monday.
The plans must be submitted to and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry before the project can proceed.
Proposed schedule: If approved, construction of the 266-bed jail would begin in March and be completed in November 2003. Construction bids are to be advertised and awarded in January.
The old jail, which is on South Diamond Street, across from the county courthouse, accommodates 114 inmates.
The new jail, which is expected to cost between $15 million and $18 million, is to be built off Thompson Road, near the State Regional Correctional Facility just outsidetown. The county borrowed $30 million through the sale of bonds to pay for the new jail and for renovations at the county courthouse.

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