OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The deadline is nearing to choose the new location for the Oklahoma County Jail. The oversight advisory board for the new jail met on Tuesday and heard from the public to help narrow down the list. The list is now down to four possible sites.
“No one wants a jail in their backyard,” said an attendee at the meeting.
The Oklahoma County Jail Oversite Advisory Board is now moving forward with four of the six proposed Oklahoma County Jail locations. Many people attending clapped after hearing the news about the two locations that were removed.
Still on the agenda are: two locations near the airport, one close to several Mid-Del schools on East Grand Boulevard and the last one is at the jail’s current location on Shartel.
The superintendent for Mid-Del Public Schools said he’s concerned for the safety of his students who attend Epperly Heights Elementary. He said it is one of their largest elementary schools which sits close to the proposed jail still on the list at East Grand Boulevard.
“It’s about 1.2 miles away from Epperly Heights Elementary School, where we have about 600 students. And at Epperly Heights, we have a lot of students who walk to and from school… Student safety is the biggest concern,” said Dr. Rick Cobb, Mid-Del Public School superintendent.
Two of the remaining six locations were removed after the board heard comments from the public at Tuesday’s meeting.
Many of them pointed to the lack of access to transportation, safety of children and surrounding communities, property values decreasing, Tinker Air Force Base safety zones, utility costs, and more.
“It’s just a nice area, it’s really growing and expanding out there, and people are coming out and feeling safer now,” said an attendee at the meeting.
Chairman Steve Mason told KFOR the two proposed locations were removed because one of them is on a flood plain which would cause utility issues and the other is in a Tinker fly zone.
“It’s difficult for us to make a decision about the four sites because we don’t have all of the information yet. The existing jail site, we can build there but because it would be taller and shallow ground water, it would be more expensive,” said Steve Mason, Chairman.
Now, it’s down to the final four sites:
- 5201 S. Meridian Avenue
- 1901 E. Grand Boulevard
- Between S. Newcastle Road and SW 54th Street
- 201 N. Shartel Avenue
The board will now pass the list of locations to the county commissioners to consider.