Demolition starts on old Fannin County jail

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FANNIN COUNTY, TX -- A building that housed 70 years of memories will soon be a memory itself. A wrecking ball began knocking down the old Fannin County jail today as several people looked on. Kristen Shanahan talked to some of them who tell us why the building will be missed.

Crews began demolition on the Fannin County jail Monday, knocking one fourth of the historic building into a pile of rubble. Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster says this is where he started his career back in 1990.

"It was my start in law enforcement and I did enjoy working there. I hate to see it go, but it needs to," Foster said.

County Commissioner Stan Barker says the building has not been used since the early 2000s and had become an eyesore.

"It's not ADA accessible. We would have to have spent a lot, a lot of tax payer money to put an elevator in it. The stairwells are too narrow. Too steep," Barker said.

Barker says the jail -- built in the early 40s' -- held nearly 50 inmates.

"This one it was you know old enough to be in the category that, you know, you've messed up when you get in this jail and you don't want to go back there," Barker said.

Teddy Roskowski says after serving nine months in the jail, years ago, he made sure he was never going back.

"If there were more jails like this. The way they run this jail there'd be less crime," Roskowski said.

Some residents say they wish the building could have been preserved. Others say it is making way for progress.

"Well I saw it when I was a boy and I want to see it when it's gone," resident James Todd said.

"I'm going to miss it. I think a lot of people will," Foster said.

"There's a lot of tension in this old jail if it could talk it'd have plenty of stories to write," Roskowski said.

The demolition should be finished by the end of November.

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