SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — The Texas Commission on Jail Standards approved a new variance of dormitory housing for upcoming renovations at the Grayson County Jail.

"Getting that variance approved was a hurdle we needed to cross to be able to more forward with our jail expansions," said Grayson County Sheriff-elect Tony Bennie.

A variance granted by the commission lets the jail operate over its maximum capacity.

"We're at 72 percent on our dormitory housing," Bennie said. "The Texas Commission on Jail Standards wants you to be under 40 percent; however, with the jail expansion that were getting ready to do, that'll bring us down to 51 percent."

Before the county can launch the expansion project, they had to request an additional variance for the new capacity.

"Since were adding onto it — and the expansion that were doing is not going to get us down to that 40 percent — then we had to request that the variance be renewed," Bennie said. "The Jail commission sees that as progress, and so they approved the variance."

The $29 million renovation plan, which will add 166 beds to the jail and upgrade other facilities, were approved in March. Commissioners plan to break ground in November.