02/06/14 — New jail to be named after sheriff

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New jail to be named after sheriff

By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 6, 2014 1:46 PM

Progress has come to a halt on securing a new Wayne County jail until the state decides whether or not it will convey the old Wayne Correctional Center to the county.

But when a new jail finally does open, it will be named in memory of Sheriff Carey A. Winders.

"You know, the sheriff was very passionate about trying to get a new detention center built," said Wayne County Commissioner John Bell, chairman of the commission's Detention Center Advisory Committee. "He and I were working on it. So at this time I would like to put a motion on the floor that whenever we build this detention center that we name it the Sheriff Carey A. Winders Detention Center."

The audience at Tuesday's commissioners' meeting broke into applause when the motion was unanimously approved.

Commissioners also adopted a resolution in memory of Winders and presented a plaque to Winders' widow, Teresa; two of his daughters, Jessica W. Rouse and Ashley W. Sparks; and one of his granddaughters, Lainey Rae Sparks.

They received a standing ovation when they left.

A copy of the resolution also was presented to Maj. Fane Greenfield to display at the Sheriff's Office.

Prior to the presentation, a brief video tribute to Winders was shown.

Afterward, Noelle Woods, county purchasing manager, updated commissioners on the jail.

In October, the county advertised for requests for qualifications from companies interested in conducting a feasibility study on converting the former Wayne Correctional Center on Stevens Mill Road near Cherry Hospital into the county's new jail.

The prison closed in October because of state budget cuts.

The study is estimated to cost between $70,000 and $100,0000.

Commissioners see the old prison as a viable alternative to building a new $60 million to $70 million jail. The county's capital improvement plan includes a projected $4 million for the project in fiscal year 2015-16.

"(Requests) were sent out to 15 firms," Mrs. Woods said. "We received seven proposals from architectural firms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. We interviewed all seven firms in two days, some on Dec. 2 and some on Dec. 5."

Those firms included Brennan and Associates, the company that did the recent county jail renovation, Moseley Architects, Stewart Cooper Little, NHA Works, JKF Architects, MGT of America, and Ware Bonsall Architects.

Commissioners sent a letter to the state Department of Correction on Jan. 24 asking for the property, Mrs. Woods said.

"Once we hear back from them, from the Department of Correction, on whether we will receive the facility, then we, the staff, will recommend an award to the advisory board," she said. 'That is where we are at this time."

Mrs. Woods said she has told all of the firms that the county is "in a holding pattern" and is updating them as the county receives any new information.

Along with looking at the old prison, the feasibility study will review the use of the existing jail and the Sheriff's Office Annex on U.S. 117 North.

If the county is able to use the old prison, the current jail would continue to house some inmates along with booking, kitchen, the magistrate's office and DWI breathalyzer room.

The Sheriff's Office and the sheriff's administrative assistant would remain there as well.

Also remaining would be the jail administrator and four other supervisors, the major in charge of the patrol unit, the drug squad, investigations, major support services and the captain of the civil division, which includes the current staff.

Other goals of the study are to determine the county's jail needs over the next 25 years and whether to close the Sheriff's Annex and move its personnel and offices to the prison site.

Because of chronic jail overcrowding, the county is being forced to house inmates in other county at a cost of more than $1 million annually.

Along with solving the problem of overcrowding, the larger facility could create revenue by allowing the county to house inmates from other counties, as well as state and federal inmates.