After $3 million and years of planning and construction, the new Bryan County Jail extension is open. The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the jail was held Thursday, March 28.
The new extension connects to the existing Bryan County Jail, adding 140 beds. The jail will now be able to house 25 more inmates than could be housed between the old jail and auxiliary jail together.
Bryan County will now be able to close the auxiliary jail which has been in use for approximately 12 years.
The auxiliary jail was originally a temporary jail used during a remodel of the Bryan County Jail and was never meant to become a permanent jail, according to county officials.
During the grand opening speeches, County Commissioner Monty Montgomery said the only thing he was more excited about than opening the new jail addition was closing the auxiliary jail or “jail barn” as he called it.
Several state and local officials and community leaders showed up to see the jail open and take a tour of the facility.
Speakers at the event included Congressman Markwayne Mullin, Senator Josh Brecheen, Representative Dustin Roberts, City Mayor Jerry Tomlinson, City Manager Jim Dunegan, Montgomery and Sheriff Ken Golden.
Golden said even though he and Montgomery have been at odds over some issues concerning the jail lately, disagreements are bound to happen and he thanked Montgomery for all he has done to get this new facility.
“Monty has been the key to this project,” said Golden.
Golden also said that former Sheriff Bill Sturch was instrumental in the process and wished Sturch was at the event.
He said that now that the new jail is open, he will spend a few days getting himself and his staff familiar with the facility before moving inmates in next week.
“We have been in need of this for a long time,” said Golden.
Golden said that he plans to make the jail work “like a good Swiss clock.”
Other speakers commented on the efforts of not only the leaders and officials, but the community in Bryan County that made the jail project possible.
After speeches were given and the ribbon cut, symbolizing the jail’s opening, guests were allowed to tour the new facility to see what the tax dollars have paid for.
The new facility includes 50 cameras, an intercom system, video visitation, a watch room that overlooks all 140 new beds, a new kitchen and up-to-date security system.