Anniston jail and justice center taking shape one block at a time
by Laura Camper
Aug 23, 2012 | 6471 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This close-up of one of the cubes being set in place at the site of Anniston's new justice center shows how each one contains two cells.
This close-up of one of the cubes being set in place at the site of Anniston's new justice center shows how each one contains two cells.
Sixteen new jail cells arrived in Anniston Tuesday morning, ready to be stacked and connected on site for the Justin Sollohub Justice Center.

The concrete cubes, each containing two cells, were manufactured in Minden, La., and delivered by tractor-trailer for the project.

Chris Morris and Mike Kunkle, both Local 263 iron workers from Dallas, Texas, arrived with the eight cubes to install them. A crane lifted the cubes off the trucks and stacked them in place where they are meant to stay.

“They weigh 80,000 pounds each,” Morris said. “They’re not going anywhere.”

Tuesday afternoon, eight were stacked two high in an L-shape.

He’s done this before and for much bigger jobs, Morris said. On this job, a total of 32 jail cells will take just two days of his time and then he and Kunkle will head back to Texas.

When the men are finished, 16 cubes will have been stacked in a U-shape. They will form the three cell blocks of the new jail, one for women and two for men. The rest of the building will be built around the cells, said Dale Williamson, superintendent on the job for Brice Building Company, the construction manager on the project.

With the addition of the jail cells, the justice center is right on schedule and about 28 percent complete, Williamson said.

Jay Jenkins, an Anniston City Councilman who was hired as the architect on the project before his appointment to the council, said the use of modular cells is just one of several methods to build the cells.

“We chose this method because we found it to be the most efficient and cost-effective,” Jenkins said.

An added benefit is that they arrive complete with doors, windows, electrical wiring and plumbing chases, sinks and toilets cast into them.

“They create a tamper-proof environment,” Jenkins said. “They’re really hard to get out of.”

When the facility is completed, each of the cell blocks will open onto its own community room and the cells will be completely incorporated into the building. The only visible part of the cube in the jail will be the wall with the door, he said.

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