A contract was signed on Thursday between the County of San Diego and Barnhart Balfour Beatty for the $221.5 million, of the in Santee.
The 478,000-square-foot project near has been by the City of Santee and its residents. The site is near the city's major shopping complex, and other community areas and city officials hoped it would be .
Expected to be completed in late 2015, the new facility will replace the cramped, dilapidated conditions in the current jail, which County officials have said operates at 150 percent of capacity. The new one will be three times bigger, offering more than 1,200 beds.
City News Service contributed to this report.