OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – On Monday morning, the Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners finally made a decision on where to place the new Oklahoma County Jail.
Last week, it was narrowed down to four possible sites, but the official location for the new Oklahoma County Detention Center was approved Monday.
The property that was approved sits north of Will Rogers World Airport between Southwest 54th and Newcastle Road with nearly 200 acres of land.
Officials are still negotiating a price for the land before construction can start.
“The airport trust did submit this land to us and so our vote today was just to accept that that was a piece of land we wanted to move forward with,” said Carrie Blumert, Oklahoma County Commissioner, District 1.
Oklahoma County voters approved funding for the nearly $300 million facility last year.
Oklahoma County Commissioners on the board told KFOR this location was the best decision because it is near an industrial area and away from homes.
“Near the airport, on that same campus, there’s actually two other detention facilities. There is a Federal Transfer Center and a Homeland Security Detention Center, so this is not a new type of use for this area,” said Blumert.
The board made their decision heavily based on citizen input.
“As we’ve gone through this process, I’ve gotten thousands of emails, thousands of calls about every other site except for this one. This one here seems to be the natural fit and I’ve had one phone call,” said Myles Davidson, County Commissioner District 3 and a part of the Jail Trust.
The Oklahoma County Jail told KFOR, “We are encouraged and excited to get to this point in the process. There is a long way to go but we look forward to a new facility in the future.”
Next steps include the negotiation process to purchase the land with the Airport Trust and the city of Oklahoma City, then hopefully construction.
“We’re already ahead of the game… So I don’t believe it will be five years, I’m hoping for a whole lot less, I am hoping for 36 months from the day we break out,” said Davidson.
KFOR reached out to the airport, and they sent the following statement:
The Airport provided the County with two parcels for lease for the proposed project with project with several contingencies that would need to be addressed, such as, the requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) review and compliance, a review of the zoning compatibility, and the requirement for a Fair Market Value lease rate. These issues are under review and have not been resolved at this time.Jeff Mulder, Department of Airports Director