Rhea County picks architects for new jail

Rhea County picks architects for new jail

October 6th, 2011 by By Kimberly McMillian/Correspondent in News

Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal

Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

DAYTON, Tenn. - The Rhea County Commission's jail committee has chosen a Mount Juliet, Tenn., architecture firm for the jail/justice center project.

The committee soon will review the three remaining possible sites.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Mike Neal said officials were "in [the] process of getting contracts signed" with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris Inc. for the work.

Seven Tennessee-based architectural firms had placed bids last month, including Michael Brady Inc., Barber McMurry Architects and Cope & Associates from Knoxville, TWH and Franklin Architects from Chattanooga, Upland Designs from Crossville and Kaatz Binkley.

Ronnie Raper, the jail committee's chairman, confirmed the panel had chosen Dillard Construction in Dayton to serve as the jail's construction managing firm, along with Kaatz Binkley as the architectural firm.

Earlier this year, the committee chose three out of seven sites as viable locations for a new jail or justice center. Among the properties are a 7.4-acre site priced at $350,000 on Manufacturers Road, a 12-acre site priced at $360,000 and located north of downtown on Broadway Street and a 65-acre site priced at $650,000 on Delaware Avenue.

In August, county financial consultant Tom McAnulty proposed a funding analysis for a $13 million bond issue to pay for the project. The analysis had suggested a $37 annual wheel tax on registered vehicles, which would generate revenue equivalent to a 16-cent property tax increase.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bell south.net.