JEROME • The new Jerome County Jail is nearly finished and under budget.

With $70,000 left in the contingency fund, the building will be turned over to the county in about six weeks, said Russ Moorhead, construction representative for the county.

“I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised from your last visit,” Moorhead told county commissioners Monday before embarking on a tour of the facility.

Workers scurried around the 132-bed facility, ducking through scaffolding, installing lights in ceiling panels and painting doors and walls.

Motion-sensing lights and skylights lit some halls; other halls remain dark. Cardboard covered with plaster and wood dust littered the rooms.

But all in all, county officials left the tour with smiles on their faces.

The site at T Street and 100 East is about 90 percent complete. Training on various systems will begin by the end of the month.

Sheriff’s investigator Chad Kingsland said the evidence room and security system is state of the art.

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The old jail, which is still in use, is unsafe for inmates and staff alike, officials say.

Jerome County voters passed the $11.2 million bond in May 2013 after rejecting four previous proposals. In November, the county signed a $10.8 million contract with Scott Hedrick Construction of Boise.

The building is pre-planned for expansion, with “pods” that will be completed when needed.

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