More than 150 local, county, state and federal officials attended the festivities.
Uniontown, PA - The Fayette County Board of Commissioners hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, marking a major milestone for the new Fayette County Jail.
Located at 245 McClellandtown Road in Uniontown, the new Fayette County Jail is currently in its final phase of construction, with completion slated for early summer. The county began laying the groundwork for the new jail in 2016 and officially started construction in early 2021.
TranSystems, formerly L.R. Kimball, designed the new facility, and SiteLogIQ served as construction managers for the project. SiteLogIQ Northeast Vice President Mike Arnold, who played live music prior to the ceremony, thanked the Fayette County Commissioners “for the opportunity to serve on this project.”
“The team’s drive to quickly overcome any challenge is what helped make this project such a success, and we’re incredibly proud to have been a part of it,” Arnold said.
More than 150 community leaders, local, state and federal officials, project contractors, and more attended Friday’s invitation-only event. Fayette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Muriel Nuttall served as master of ceremonies for the festivities.
Fayette County Jail Warden John Lenkey presented a time capsule prior to the ribbon cutting, which will be buried in front of the new jail and marked with a commemorative plaque. Its contents, which combine the former county jail’s history with the new facility’s promising future, included:
- A Fayette County corrections officer shirt and patches;
- Jail handcuffs;
- A cellblock key and cell door locking cover;
- A portion of a jail cell bar;
- Black and white photos of Fayette County inmates from the 1950s;
- Two jail reports and a magazine photo of Fayette County corrections officers from 1919, 1928, and 1941, respectively;
- A 1920 letter about two inmates who escaped county corrections officers’ custody;
- Photos of the Fayette County Prison Board of Inspectors, county commissioners, and current Fayette County Jail administrators;
- 3D photo renderings and video of the jail’s design;
- Video of the jail’s construction progress from the Fayette County, PA YouTube channel;
- Photos from the March 2021 groundbreaking, marking the start of the jail’s construction;
- County press releases and local news articles chronicling the project from start to finish;
- And materials from today’s ribbon cutting.
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary Dr. Laurel R. Harry delivered remarks on behalf of the state, before Fayette County Commissioners Dave Lohr, Vince Vicites and Scott Dunn spoke on the county’s behalf and cut the commemorative ribbon.
Vicites said cutting a ribbon on construction of the new facility is “a problem solved.”
“We were very cost effective in every aspect of construction of this prison,” Vicites said. “It was a difficult project to design and construct, but our team working with the architect and construction manager got this done under budget and on time.”
Commissioner Chairman Lohr said it’s “amazing” to finally see the new jail nearing completion and thanked everyone involved for their support.
“It has been a long path to get here, and I placed a tall order – for the new jail to be both cost-effective and cutting edge,” Lohr said. “What I most look forward to is the improvements in the lives of staff and inmates alike that a well-planned, well-equipped, modern facility will bring. This facility has been designed so that we can offer training and other programs in-house. When inmates leave our care, they will have acquired skills they didn’t have when they came to us. That’s a big win for inmates but it’s also a big win for Fayette County.”
Dunn said that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the planning process continued right on schedule.
“We overcame many obstacles to make it to today, cutting construction costs along the way and keeping future operating costs in mind,” Dunn said. “This was key to getting this project started before inflation, supply chain issues, and rising interest rates became factors. Had we waited, costs would have escalated considerably, so I’m very pleased with what we were able to accomplish since breaking ground two years ago. Thank you to everyone who helped keep this project moving and for our citizens’ support.”
Fayette County Jail software provider ViaPath sponsored an ice cream truck for the event, while commissary provider Oasis donated refreshments. Mary DeAngelo of Brownsville created custom Fayette County logo cookies for the occasion.
To learn more about the new Fayette County Jail, visit www.fayettecountypa.org/797/Fayette-County-Prison-Project.
To learn more about Fayette County, visit www.fayettecountypa.org.
Editor's Note: Photos attached (Fayette County Jail Ribbon Cutting; Fayette County Jail Ribbon Cutting2; Fayette County Jail Ribbon Cutting3; Fayette County Jail Ribbon Cutting4)
This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.
For more information, contact Kristi Kassimer Harper, Public Relations Specialist, at 724-437-4571, email@example.com or Kaylie Moore, Community Relations Coordinator, at 724-430-1200 Ext. 1611, firstname.lastname@example.org.