Officials vow to eliminate mistakes as Wichita Co. Law Enforcement Center awaits final sign off

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WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Two weeks after the Wichita County Law Enforcement Center failed a Texas Commission on Jail Standards inspection, a division manager from Yates Construction was at commissioner’s court meeting Monday morning to answer some questions on the project moving forward.

“What’s sad about this, is it casted a little bit of a shadow I think in public opinion over a tremendous building,” Wichita County Precinct Four Commissioner Barry Mahler said.

A building that has been years in the making.

“It’s time for us to start using what the taxpayers paid for, but we have to use it when everything is correct,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.

And getting everything exactly right, is taking a little more time than expected.

“It is complex, and it is unfortunate, I don’t like it for the town and for everyone involved that we’re still working through that and trying to fine-tune,” Yates Construction Division Manager Scott Pitt said.

The L.E.C. failed it’s inspection specifically for plumbing, smoke evac and table height issues.

“That’s where I’m a little disappointed that we were lead to believe that we were 100% ready to go, given the green light and thumbs up and everything, and apparently we, our team, failed to check all the boxes correctly and double and triple check,” Precinct One Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said.

What officials felt like were simple fixes, the plumbing issues are corrected and 13 of 14 smoke evac systems have now worked during practice tests.

Pitt assured commissioners they will be better down the final stretch and for the next inspection.

“No excuse, we would like to keep ourselves at a higher standard and we assure you and are committed to making sure we pass the next time,” Pitt said.

Now, they will have commissioners keeping a closer eye on the final stretch.

“You can’t assume anything, and I think we’ve made that emphasis pretty strong on Mr. Pitt to understand he has got to lead that team of his through that and make sure everybody has everything checked and re-checked to make sure everything is ready,” Gossom said.

“We will triple check everything and have a full report at commissioners court before moving forward,” Beauchamp said.

Double, triple and probably even quadruple checking a building set to last them through the next century.

Commissioner Beauchamp anticipates the jail commission to be back out here within the week to re-test the building, and for the table height issue, they will have to apply for a waiver in Austin on August 5th.

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