TYLER (KYTX)-A portion of the Smith County jail renovations are almost complete and CBS 19 got a sneak peak today.
This is the old book in area- it's small and crowded and jail administrators say it desperately needed upgrading. Now this is the new version of it- complete with more room for employees and holding cells for men and women- something the old jail didn't have.
"It's more user friendly, it's more secure. You utilize your employees better by having them in one place instead of scattered through the jail, it's very beneficial to the tax payers in that respect," Jail Administrator Major Deal Folmar said.
Jail Administrator Major Folmar says the current employee working areas are not efficient.
"Currently there are bathrooms that have been converted over into offices, storage rooms as fingerprint rooms to put fingerprint equipment and computers," Major Folmar said.
Efficiency isn't the only plus to the new jail area, the new infirmary will save tax payers six hundred to eight hundred thousand dollars a year.
"Prior to this coming online if an inmate was sick or they diagnosed high blood pressure, couldn't get it under control, then they would go out to the emergency room. At this point we are going to have the proper staffing on medical and the proper facilities that we will treat them here instead of going out to emergency rooms," Major Folmar said.
County Commissioner Jeff Warr oversees this project and says he's happy with the way it's turned out.
"The new facility is state of the art for the money that the citizens gave us to work with. we tried to get the very best value we could for the citizens," Commissioner Warr said.
Major Folmar is thankful taxpayers approved this project.
"I can;t tell you how excited I am, I can't explain how excited and for the employees, they come over daily and tour this facility, they want to see what they are fixing to go to and they're all real happy. I can't explain it enough," Major Folmar said.
The next phase of the renovations is moving the doors on the old holding cells to open into the new jail to add even more room for inmates when they're booked in to the jail.