Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Grayson County Jailer Jason Woosley, front row, fifth from left, and Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson, front row, fifth from right, shovel dirt to break ground on the new Grayson County Detention Center expansion alongside staff from the jail on Tuesday.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Grayson County Jailer Jason Woosley, front row, fifth from left, and Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson, front row, fifth from right, shovel dirt to break ground on the new Grayson County Detention Center expansion alongside staff from the jail on Tuesday.

The Grayson County Detention Center held the official groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday morning to kick off construction on its long awaited expansion.

Work is expected to commence on the more than 33,000-square-foot expansion next week, and, after it is completed, the jail will move its female inmates from the facility at 125 East White Oak St. in Leitchfield to the same campus as the main, male facility at 320 Shaw Station Rd. in Leitchfield.

The addition, which is expected to take 17-18 months to complete, will be a self-contained facility connected to the current main facility and include 16 10-bed dormitories, two six-bed dormitories, 25 single-bed segregation cells, and two single-bed temporary holding cells, for a total of 199 additional beds.

With the 50-60 female inmates currently incarcerated in Grayson County who will be lodged in the new expansion, Grayson County Jailer Jason Woosley said, the detention center will be able to house around 140-150 more inmates, increasing profits for the jail and county, as well as affording the jail the opportunity to create 20-25 new jobs.

The addition will also permit the detention center to expand upon its religious, educational, and trade programs.

Woosley said Tuesday he is excited to be able to offer Grayson County's female inmates the same opportunities as the males lodged in the main facility to take part in these programs, and he hopes that, by doing so, it will improve, not just the Grayson County community, but communities all across the state, due to the numerous state inmates incarcerated at the local jail.

"With your support, we can make that happen," he said to attendees of Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony.

Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson also spoke Tuesday on how fortunate the county is to have a jail that is financially self-sustaining and does not require funding from the county's general fund to operate.

Additionally, he addressed those who have criticized the county for proceeding with the jail expansion despite its $12,581,385.75 price tag, and said that the expansion is estimated to save the county around $3 million per year in labor costs and the city of Leitchfield around $1.5 million in labor costs.

"We just want to see the county move forward, and this is one step," Henderson said.