Escambia Jail Central Booking Facility To Be Demolished, Four Years After Explosion

October 21, 2018

The Escambia County Commission has awarded a contract for the demolition of the Escambia County Central Booking and Detention Facility, which has sat empty since a April 30, 2014, natural gas explosion at the facility.

Jobe’s Dirt Works of Baker was the low bidder at $476,900. Five other bids were received, with the next lowest at $574,250. The other bids were in excess of $1 million.

Two people killed and over 100 were injured in the explosion. The explosion occurred after gas clothes dryers pulled away from a wall in the basement of the building, filling the basement with natural gas. A  spark from an unknown source ignited the natural gas causing an explosion. photos.


9 Responses to “Escambia Jail Central Booking Facility To Be Demolished, Four Years After Explosion”

  1. gmp on October 25th, 2018 2:32 am

    It took so long to get to the point where they could demolish it because it was considered evidence in the ongoing civil lawsuits and could not be demolished until they were all resolved. I have heard that once it is demolished they will replace it with a retention pond to help alleviate some of the severe flooding issues in that area.

  2. rc on October 23rd, 2018 7:30 am

    They missed that bid by a mile-almost 100,000 cheaper than the next bid and almost half price of all other bids . That building is concrete with tons of rebar throughout.And scrap will not cover the difference. That job is a dead loser at that price and I don’t think they could finish it.

  3. Mr. Metoo on October 22nd, 2018 12:44 am

    My guess is the county couldn’t do anything until after the investigations and lawyers got paid. It didn’t matter if the Sheriff or board was in charge. The place was gonna blow. Seems too cheap but I never tore down a jail before. There has to be tons of wire.And those heavy doors and stainless steel toilets for scrap.

  4. Frustrated taxpayer on October 21st, 2018 12:59 pm

    The bid seems too cheap for a job that big. If it’s like everything else in e-SCAM-bia county we will probably learn in a few months that something went terribly wrong with the project and more money is needed to complete it.

  5. April Wilkins on October 21st, 2018 10:25 am

    I cannot believe it took FOUR years for this to happen. That is an absolute FAILURE of country government. This is absolutely Looney. They will come up with several excuses but the fact remains the county commissioners dropped the ball. And the residents of Escambia county accept this? Just wow. I guess you’re ok with failure. And the new jail only houses about 700 beds…. That’s utterly laughable! The failures just keep on adding up! The old jail is severely out of date. Just ask any county corrections officer! I’ll read the future: Soon theyll have to replace it but won’t have the money? LOL AT BOCC

  6. Bob on October 21st, 2018 9:55 am

    This county has a long history of taking low bid and having horrible results. Look at what they said about how they could run the jail cheaper than the sheriff’office. That turned out just great- they blew it up within 6 months.

  7. Bob C. on October 21st, 2018 8:44 am

    FINALLY some forward movement on this eyesore.
    Hopefully, the work can be completely done at that low-bid cost.
    Wondering where all the debris will be taken and deposited?
    Good Luck and BE SAFE working around that mess.

  8. retired on October 21st, 2018 8:28 am

    Also one officer parilized.

  9. Stumpknocker on October 21st, 2018 7:51 am

    $476,900 to tear down and remove all debris, this is a big job compared to the old mill site in Century where I believe the bid was around $800,000 wonder why so much of a difference in cost. The mill site seems to be mostly metal which would be sold for scrap or maybe reperpused.

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