County pursues downtown jail siteAlthough it has been ruled out in past studies, the current downtown location is once again being looked at as a possible location for a new Douglas County Jail and law enforcement center.
By: Erin Klegstad, Staff Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Although it has been ruled out in past studies, the current downtown location is once again being looked at as a possible location for a new Douglas County Jail and law enforcement center.
For a cost of $13,200 plus reimbursable expenses, the Douglas County Board agreed Tuesday to have project architect, Klein McCarthy & Co., proceed with Phase 3 of the jail study.
Phase 3 will analyze the feasibility of and give options for the current downtown location.
The board’s direction came last month after commissioners said that they wanted to keep costs down as much as possible by building a facility that meets the needs of Douglas County only, not other communities.
About Phase 3
Phase 3 of the jail study will include possible options for the downtown site, a projected cost and will identify future expansion and parking options. It will be completed by August 1.
A letter from project architect Scott Fettig detailed the scope of Phase 3. It will include the following:
• Meetings – a one-day presentation of three construction managers who are reviewing Phase 1 and 2; committee work sessions; and monthly board updates.
• A recalculation of the inmate average daily population (ADP) based on various methods, including incarceration rates and historical trends.
• Propose revisions to Phase 2 spatial program to delete any possible duplications and overages. The jail will be programmed based on 15-year projected ADP from occupancy (year 2024).
• Provide three downtown options – expand existing jail to the north and possibly the south; review the feasibility of jail housing units within the existing gym and remodel to provide a jail and necessary support around those areas; and demolish the existing pool and build a new jail and joint LEC, and price a floor of “shelled-in” area for future expansion as a cost increase to consider.
• Develop options with spatial program, construction and project cost, and phasing plan for the downtown site based on the following – identify a current or future use for any vacated spaces or buildings; all options must use only the existing county-owned property; no street closures; courts to remain in its current location, while options will identify inmate movement from the jail to courtrooms; develop jail staffing and operational plans; existing library to remain where it is, but could be relocated in future expansion phases; review existing jail staffing; review architectural and/or engineering reports from Phase 1 and propose major repairs or modifications to any portions of the structures to remain and are identified as used by the jail or joint LEC; and all options assume one combined jail or two facilities, not three.
• Provide alternate pricing for future courts expansion and dormitory construction vs. hard cells for minimum security/work release inmate areas.
• Identify future expansion options for construction and parking.
• Identify vehicle parking solutions based on the city’s current requirements. All options must resolve the ongoing parking shortage.
• All work sessions will include board chair John Mingus, Commissioner Jerry Johnson and Coordinator Bill Schalow.