Students in Barry Jackson’s welding classes at the Barren County Area Vocational Center have spent the last couple of weeks making beds for the Hart County Jail.

Jackson was approached about the project by Hart County Jailer Keith Riordan, who learned the students had made 13 beds for the Barren County Corrections Center last year.

“The Barren County jailer came to us and he had some copies out of a catalog of two beds he was going to order and wanted to know what it would cost for us to build the beds,” Jackson said.

He quoted Barren County Jailer Leland Cox a price, and as it turned out it was cheaper for Jackson’s students to build the beds than it was for Cox to order them from the catalog.

“It saved us several dollars,” Cox said.

So, when Riordan told Cox he was going to need more beds, Cox immediately referred him to Jackson and his students.

This year the students are making 29 beds for the Hart County Jail.

The need for extra beds at the Hart County Jail stems from a change in the bed allotment for Class C and D felons, which are nonviolent offenders and the type of inmates who participate in out-of-jail work programs.

“(The bed allotment change) will give us at least 26 more beds in the dorm,” Riordan said. “We’ve got four dorms. We are going to get three additional beds in what used to be the staff lounge. It’s going to be a total of 29 extra beds.”

When Jackson’s students began the Hart County Jail project, they spent two days cutting out pieces of metal for use in making the beds.

“Last year it took us two weeks to get the pieces done,” Jackson said.

Because the students made similar beds for the Barren County Corrections Center last year, Jackson said the second year welding students have been able to train the first year welding students.

To make the beds, the students are using around 8 tons of steel, he said.

Students working on the project attend Glasgow, Barren County, Caverna, Hart and Metcalfe County High schools.

Rodney Adams, a Glasgow junior, said working on the project has been fun.

“It’s kind of neat to build something for somebody who is going to appreciate it, and it’s good experience,” he said.

Tyler Thomas, also a Glasgow junior, agreed.

“I just hope I don’t have to sleep in one,” he joked.

Leah Buster, a Metcalfe County High School junior, said the project has not been a hard task.

“It’s been time consuming, but it’s not difficult,” she said.

The students began working on Hart County Jail’s beds on Aug. 31 and Jackson estimates it will take until December to finish them.

Riordan has already picked up the first few beds the students made.

Contact Gina Kinslow by e-mailing


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