RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A construction firm out of Northern Virginia and an architect out of Florida have submitted a proposal to build a new jail at the current site for a total cost of $118-million.
The barbed wire and bars may not have to move anywhere. A group has proposed building a new jail at the current location off Fairfield Way.
"People do not want jails in their backyards and if you have a facility that's existing and you have room on it, you have land available, then you're far better off building on it," said architect J. Pat Strollo.
Strollo says his plan calls for building as many as three towers on the site that are 8 stories high. In a letter to the city, he says the area could support space for 1,600 beds. He says that's $19-million under the city's established budget.
The looming debate over the location of the new jail is already causing anxiety in some Richmond neighborhoods.
"We would be fearful of actually having people being released from jail into our neighborhood," said Louise McQueen who lives in Bellemeade.
She's been helping to organize other residents in the neighborhood for a fight. They are worried about a proposal to build a jail on property off Commerce Road. Council woman Reva Trammall is keeping a close eye on a proposal to build a new jail in her district at an Old Phillip Morris building.
"I represent the people and I think I need to get it out to the people to let them know what's going to happen in our 8th district," said Trammall.
There are 6 total plans under consideration. Details have now leaked on three of those proposals. No final decisions have been made. A city spokesperson says all six proposals are still under review so it's not appropriate at this time to comment.