Friday morning, November 15, a ribbon cutting and public tour of the expanded county jail in Jourdanton was held. This was a celebration of completion of the threeyear expansion project. A ribbon cutting was held at 10 a.m. with guided tours from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The jail is located at 1108 Campbell Avenue.
Bob Ulrich, a jail chaplain, said a prayer to open the event.
Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward welcomed those attending the event and took time to thank many who were responsible for the addition and renovations and to judges, officials and law enforcement who remained patient while cooperating with jail officials during the past three years when the jail was battling potential overcrowding. This was followed by other speakers. They were Captain Martin Gonzales, Atascosa County Jail Administrator; Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley, Wayne Gondeck, DRG Architects and Eric Cohen, Butler-Cohen.
The enlarged jail increased in size from 35,326 to 58,443 square feet. There is an increase of inmate capacitiy from 138 to 250.
Additions to the jail included a training room, communications/911 center, infirmary, an all-weather men’s recreation area, storage areas, evidence building, loading dock and DPS intoxilyzer room.
There was an increase of record storage, kitchen space, laundry space and inmate property storage and holding cells.
Sheriff Soward said, “In addition to having to endure one year and eight months of construction for the addition and renovations here at the jail you can add on about a year and a half to two years prior to construction even beginning where we were always battling being overcrowded and trying to stay within compliance with the jail commission. And with the help of others we managed to keep the jail in compliance and not be overcrowded, but it was a constant struggle, constant stress issues myself and staff had to deal with. We’re excited to be past that now and have a jail that meets the needs of Atascosa County. We always wish that we didn’t need a 250 capacity jail, but you have to face the facts and that’s where we are and times have changed.”
“It’s been thirty years since anything has been added onto the jail as far as cell space. It was definitely the right time to do it.
“Commissioners’ Court made a right decision to add that many cells to our jail.”