It's massive, more than 460,000 square feet. You could fit nearly the whole population of Bloomingdale inside the expanded Chatham County Detention Center, built to hold 2,630 inmates.
And the cost to run it is pretty breathtaking, too, $52.8 million for Fiscal Year 2013.
"Everybody complains about these people getting out of jail too quick, and so forth, and so on," Sheriff Al St Lawrence said. "I've got to have a place to keep them."
Right now, the county jail is way over capacity, about 1,550 inmates in a complex built for 1,224. St Lawrence thinks that if the jail wasn't expanded -- he'd end up answering to the U.S. Justice Department.
"The reason we haven't been to court, in my sincere belief, is because we had plans laid, and we were working those plans and it's come to fruition," he said.
The jail's renovation and expansion were approved by Chatham County voters. It was built using sales tax dollars. But the cost to operate the jail, for the most part, falls to the county.
The main source of county revenue: property tax.
Commissioners say property taxes could be going up to pay to run the jail. Tuesday, they got an update from the sheriff on the operating cost. They knew it was going to be expensive, but $52.8 million? St Lawrence says the expenses shouldn't come as a surprise.
"We knew up front when we went to the voters that the maintenance and operations of the jail had to be paid for by the taxpayers."
To keep operation costs under control, new portions of the jail are opening in phases. The first phase already has been staffed; that's the medical wing and maintenance building. Tuesday, St Lawrence asked the County Commission for $5.5 million to fund Phase 2. That will provide 568 more inmate beds and will stop overcrowding, for now.
"I'm not asking for anything more than what I need," St Lawrence said.
The county is hoping for an influx of sales tax dollars to offset those jail costs. Chatham's city and county governments are trying to figure out how to split more than $600 million in Local Option Sales Tax funds. That split comes every decade, but this year, they've landed before a Superior Court Judge. The judge's decision is expected April 1.