GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa — Under gray skies and a cold drizzle, ground was broken Tuesday morning on the new $9.5 million Guthrie County Jail.
The 16,000-square-foot, 32-bed facility will take about 14 months to construct, according to Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright. The present Guthrie County Jail, built in 1963, houses a maximum of eight to 10 inmates, he said.
“The current jail is full today,” Arganbright told the group of about 25 people who gathered for the groundbreaking. “It was full yesterday and is full most days. Hopefully, this new facility will last us another 50 years.”
Guthrie County voters approved in March the bond referendum to finance the new jail with an 80% approval rate.
Tuesday’s groundbreaking began with Guthrie County Auditor Dani Fink introducing a brief series of speakers, starting with Arganbright and also including Guthrie County Attorney Brenna Bird, Shive-Hattery Project Manager-Architecture Ron Hinds, Samuels Group President Sid Samuels and Guthrie County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Mike Dickson.
Sharing the ceremonial occasion with Arganbright were Guthrie County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Jack E. Lloyd and Supervisors Everett Grasty, J. D. Kuster, Cliff Carney and Mike Dickson, Guthrie County Auditor Dani Fink, Guthrie County Attorney Brenna Bird, Guthrie County Chief Deputy Jeremy Bennett, Guthrie County Jailer Mike Herbert, Guthrie County Deputy Sheriff Jesse Swenson and longtime Guthrie County benefactor Beverly Wild.
Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard was also on hand to congratulate Arganbright.