Nestled in between a truck dealership, a Sam's Club warehouse and a Circle K convenience store, Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard has finally found a home.
On a barren stretch of 38 acres of dirt and weeds near 900 West and 3300 South, dozens of dignitaries, city mayors and councils - including one congressional representative - joined Kennard and his top officials Tuesday to break a little ground.Officially dubbed the Salt Lake County Adult Detention Complex, Kennard simply referred to the 2,000-plus bed, four-pod facility as the new jail.
"What worries me though is that we'll open, already be full and need more space," Kennard said at the ceremony. "We'll probably need 2,500 or 3,000 beds, and I know commissioners that I've upped that number."
Salt Lake County Commission Chairman Brent Overson jokingly responded, "Well, what else is new?"
Kennard did stress the importance of many people coming together to get the new facility, slated for completion in December 1998, up and finally running.
"We've had tremendous support from the public, from Chief Dan Ipson and his staff and from our community leaders," he said.
Rep. Enid Greene, R-Utah, said efforts in Washington to allow Kennard the opportunity to work "unencumbered" has been a great help in getting the jail under way.
"I think we're working very hard to do what is right for law enforcement," Greene said. "We're letting them do they're job with the minimum amount of interference from Washington."
Construction costs on the building are estimated at $113 million with Layton Construction handling construction management duties and Oakland Construction the general contractor.
Four additional pods will be available for future building purposes at the site, increasing bed capacity to nearly 4,000 units.