After years of planning and development, the time has finally come for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Starke County Sheriffs Department and Detention Center. The county commissioners announced that the groundbreaking will be held today from 10 to 11 a.m. and is open to the public. The ceremony will be held at the 24-acre construction site at the corner of State Road 8 and County Road 550 East in Knox. The proposed 146-bed facility will replace the 63-bed facility currently in use, a necessity according to Sheriff Oscar Cowen. He said the county is currently housing between 15 and 20 prisoners per day in other facilities and officials are desperate to get the facility finished. The quest to build a new jail began in 2011 when a federal lawsuit was filed citing the overcrowding conditions at the current jail. The commissioners and the sheriff then toured six different jail facilities throughout the state with similar population and needs as Starke County. A bid process landed DLZ Indiana and the Skillman Corporation as the architects and project management for the effort. Public meetings were then held throughout the county and a jail committee was formed, with individuals from different areas of the project attending a week-long intensive workshop detailing the process and the mandated federal requirements necessary to build the new detention center. The project will be completed in two stages, according to the project timeline: the sheriff’s department will be completed by May 2014 and the detention pods and the 911 Center will be completed by April 2015.