Construction is not what we do…it's who we are.

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012 12:44 pm | Updated: 1:06 pm, Mon Jul 2, 2012.

Ribbon cut for new regional jail Sylvia Allen


ALBERTA – Wednesday, June 27, 2012 was a very special day for Brunswick County. A project that was years in the making became a reality as the ribbon was cut to officially open the Meherrin River Regional Jail serving Brunswick County, Mecklenburg County and Dinwiddie County.

Newly named Superintendent Crystal Willett opened the ceremony thanking all involved for their hard work on the project.

”It is my honor and pleasure to be here today and give recognition to all of the hard work and dedication that has turned this once vacant piece of property into a beautiful, state of the art facility,” Willett said.

Willett said the facility is approximately 170,000 square feet situated on 124 acres. The Meherrin River Regional Jail is the 22nd regional jail in the state. Willett said through proper design and construction the facility will meet the needs of the localities now and in the future.

Willett thanked the three jurisdictions for making their vision a reality calling special attention to the architects, construction workers, engineers, local and state officials and to the members of the Meherrin River Regional Jail Authority.

“In a short while we will cut the ribbon and open the doors to this magnificent building and invite you inside for refreshments and the opportunity to preview a few key areas of the facility. Knowledgeable staff members are stationed throughout the jail to help guide you,” Willett said.

Willett introduced Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts and thanked him for his commitment to the project.

”Sheriff Roberts has done an incredible job serving as the Authority’s Chairman and as I am sure he is about to tell you all, he has seen this project from infancy and this truly is his baby,” Willett said.

Roberts said the project was an excellent example of collaboration and partnership. He thanked the other members of the Meherrin River Regional Jail Authority, past and present, for their hard work and dedication.

“Nine different human beings representing their different constituents came together to see this project through. I want to thank them for their commitment and the three counties boards of supervisors for their vision, because without them none of this would have happened,” Roberts said.

Roberts thanked Chris Webb who has served as a consultant and Bill Hefty, attorney for the Authority, and his son Brendan Hefty. Roberts thanked Delegate Tommy Wright, Delegate Roslyn Tyler who attended and Senator Frank Ruff, Senator L. Louise Lucas as well as Senator Marsh and Delegate Dance; the Clay family; the construction team, English Construction, Moseley Architects, T & L, Southern Air, Steel Cell, Jones Electric, Biggs Construction, Clary Construction Company, Felton Bros with a special thanks to Allen Hamblin, vice president of English, and Richard Honebien, site superintendent with English Construction.

“If you are going to build something and you didn’t hire English Construction Company, you made a huge mistake. They have been unbelievable to work with,” Roberts said.

Roberts thanked Brunswick County and the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority, Brunswick County staff, finance, planning and building inspector; and the Meherrin River Regional Jail administration. Roberts said, “We have assembled a great team at the jail to run it safely, effectively and efficiently and I am very proud of their hard work thus far. We have partnered with some private companies to provide cost effective services also such as CBM Food Services who will operate our kitchen and Armor Correctional Healthcare to provide our medical services.”

Roberts said his comments today would paint a chronological picture of where we started and where we have arrived. Roberts said in 2002 the Average Daily Population for inmates in Brunswick County was 37 when former Sheriff James Woodley named him as Chief Deputy that year.

“We changed the way we enforced the laws and worked our criminal cases and made a lot of arrests and in the fall of 2004 the ADP had grown to 73, more than doubling the inmate population. The Brunswick County Jail has 43 beds,” said Roberts.

For the full story see the July 4, 2012 issue

Project is complete — The ribbon was cut on Wednesday, June 27, to officially open the Meherrin River Regional Jail located at the intersection of Boydton Plank Road and Liberty Road in Brunswick County. The facility will house inmates from Brunswick County, Mecklenburg County and Dinwiddie County previously held in local jails or at rented bed space at other jails. The Meherrin River Regional Jail Authority sponsored a ribbon cutting ceremony and opened the facility to the public for tours. Shown are, from left, Mecklenburg County Sheriff R. W. “Bobby” Hawkins, Jr., Mecklenburg County Administrator H. Wayne Carter, III, Dinwiddie County Supervisor William D. Chavis, Dinwiddie County Administrator W. Kevin Massengill, Superintendent Crystal Willett, Brunswick County Sheriff Brian K. Roberts, Brunswick County Administrator Charlette Woolridge, Brunswick County Supervisor Bernard L. Jones, Sr., Dinwiddie County Sheriff “Duck” Adams and Mecklenburg County Supervisor Evans D. Tanner. (Sylvia Allen/Womack News Service)