Crews install prefabricated jail cells at new Adams County facility

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE)- Over the past several months, construction crews have been working on a new jail in Adams County to relieve overcrowding issues. Newschannel 15 was there as the crews began moving prefabricated jail cells into the worksite for installation.

Prefabricated cells are essentially a completed unit ready for operation. The cells come equipped with bunk beds, toilets, walls, and a roof. It is up to the construction workers to install locks, run the plumbing and hook-up the electric.

Dozens of cells were transported to Adams County from a company called Steel Cell out of Georgia, said Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg. They manufacture jail cells then transport them by semi-truck to the construction site.

Sheriff Rekeweg joined some county commissioners as they toured the facility, Tuesday. Now that the new cells are being installed, officials said it is finally starting to look like a jail.

“You’ve got a roof over your head, walls up, dry wall coming up, and studs coming up,” said Rekeweg. “You know it’s amazing just to watch it all come together.”

There are a few different ways to manufacture jail cells. The county could have ordered a kit with parts of the cell then welded them together. Construction workers could have also laid the blockwork themselves. Officials said purchasing the prefabricated cells saved time.

“Our construction engineer and construction manager strongly advised us to go this way,” said Doug Bauman, County Commissioner. “If we would have decided to go with the old masonry set up it would have been a 6 month longer deal.”

Instead of 6 months, construction crews will spend the next couple of weeks installing the cells.

A combination of 2 and 4 bed cells are being installed. Once completed, the there will 182 beds for prisoners. Officials said it’s more than enough space to resolve the issue of overcrowding.

At the current jail inmates had been forced to sleep on mattresses placed on the floor. The new jail is expected to be completed by fall. Inmates will move into the facility early next year.

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