An architect to build the proposed $20 million detention center in Crawford County was announced Wednesday by county officials.
SouthBuild TEAM L.L.C. of Tennessee was selected over two other companies - HMN Architects Inc. and Cromwell. All three were were narrowed down from a list of seven in December.
A three-person committee made up of County Judge John Hall, Sheriff Ron Brown and Justice of the Peace Lloyd Cole, who heads the Jail Committee, made the selection.
While the three were chosen to look over the credentials of architects up for the possible project and put forward their top choice, the final decision is contingent upon Quorum Court approval, Hall said.
"None of us have a personal interest in this, a personal gain," Brown said. "We feel like this is the best move for Crawford County and that is our goal."
SouthBuild was chosen because of its ability to come in at costs and deadline, and its experience building jails, Hall said.
While Hall did not have the company’s proposed design for the jail, he said it would be similar to the one in Washington County, which also was built by SouthBuild.
The committee’s suggested choice will be put forward at the Quorum Court meeting Monday.
Hall noted that all three companies were "worthy of doing a project of this sort," but he, Brown and Cole felt SouthBuild best fit the needs of Crawford County.
County residents will vote on the jail issue during the primary election May 20. While a tax to fund a new jail has been voted down three times before, Hall said county officials are working to answer any questions voters may have.
In addition to the architect, a possible location for the jail has been named and construction costs have been set at $20 million.
Cost amounts come from an analysis done by an architectural company a few years before, but Brown said he was confident in that number.
"We feel we can come in at $20 million or less and build what Crawford County needs," Brown said.
An updated cost analysis will be forthcoming now that an architect has been chosen, Hall said.