Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled

The public is invited to help celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Comal County Jail.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the site of the new jail, South Water Lane at Interstate 35 in New Braunfels.

Funding for the $76 million jail and accompanying renovation of the Comal County Sheriff’s Office was approved by voters in November 2015. Over the past two years, the county has finalized designs with HDR Architects, and hired Broaddus and Associates as project manager and a joint venture of the Yates and Sundt companies as construction manager-at-risk to ensure it meets its budget.

“This is a much-needed project, given the growth we’re experiencing in Comal County and in our jail population,” said Sheriff Mark Reynolds. “This will be an important project for continuing to keep our residents safe.”

Earth and utilities work will begin in early December, with construction continuing through 2018 and into the summer of 2019, after which work will begin on renovating and expanding the Sheriff’s Office into the space currently used by the jail. The overall project is scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2020.

The new jail will hold 566 inmates, including about 20 infirmary beds and 30 mental health beds, with room to expand to more than 900 inmates.

Unlike the current jail, which opened in 1985 with 144 beds and now holds 337 inmates in a traditional single-hall design, the new facility will include a second-floor control room that overlooks housing pods and exercise yards, providing greater safety and efficiency for jail staff.

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