Jail site

Demolition of the former New Castle State Developmental Center-administration building is progressing nicely. Work being done by Neal Scrap Metals LLC in New Castle will clear the area for construction of the new Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

Commissioner Ed Yanos will never forget when then Henry County Sheriff Butch Baker invited him for a tour of the 40-year-old jail several years ago.

“That was a real eye-opener, to look down at the plumbing and wiring chases and see water standing and dripping out of pipes, to realize people outside the jail and possibly inside the jail were poking holes through our walls and moving contraband of all kinds into the jail cells,” Yanos said. “People being housed in lower security buildings because we couldn’t house them all in the jail. People sleeping on plastic ‘boat beds’ in the recreational area because there wasn’t any other place to put them. It opened my eyes that we have all kinds of liability. I know some of the county councilmen felt the same way.”