Razor wire atop a fence surrounding a new recreation area at Broome County Jail. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

A new housing area and an expanded medical unit are nearing completion at the Broome County Jail in the Town of Dickinson.

Construction on the nearly $7 million project should be finished within the next few days. A few minor issues remain to be addressed.

Sheriff David Harder said representatives from the state Commission of Correction then will tour the new facility to determine whether it meets standards. Commission approval is needed before the units can open.

The new 17-bed medical ward was required by the state because men and women must be treated in separate units.

A gymnasium that had not been used for years has been turned into an additional housing unit which will accommodate 48 more inmates. The jail capacity will rise to 603 inmates with the expansion.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Harder said the new dorm unit could open by the end of July if the correction commission gives the go-ahead.

More people will need to be hired before the medical unit goes into operation. Money for the additional personnel won't be available in the county budget until November.

Take a tour of the new jail facility in this Binghamton Now photo gallery.

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