Capital Assets Study Presented to Starke County Commissioners and County Council

Starke County Jail

Here is the Capital Assets Study as presented to the Commissioners and Council by RQAW Consulting Engineers and Architects of Indianapolis:

The jail is in need of immediate renovation to upgrade and update systems. Currently the roof requires replacement and there are problems with one of the roof top air handling units. The lighting has been upgraded since our inspections took place.
The jail is overcrowded and in need of expanded capacity.

The Prosecutor’s Office in the basement of the jail is overcrowded and poorly organized. Relocating the Prosecutor to available rented space would improve the Prosecutor’s situation and allow additional space for the jail.

If rental space is not available, a new office building could be constructed for the Prosecutor. It can be constructed larger than necessary for the immediate needs of the County and include other offices until the Prosecutor’s Office grows into the extra space.

New Prosecutor’s office: Approximately 6,000 square feet. Total Project Cost in 2011: $900,000 to $1,200,000.

Expansion of the Jail into the basement would not increase inmate capacity very much, but it would allow additional staff and storage space and possibly allow some space on the first floor to be used for additional holding space and/or a padded cell.

Significant expansion of jail capacity of the existing jail will require an addition to the jail. An expanded jail and appropriate on-site parking will require the county to obtain the entire block. If this is not possible, the renovations to the jail should be undertaken as a temporary measure and address only the problems of greatest concern. If expansion is considered a realistic possibility, the renovations should be more complete and permanent.

Cost of renovating the existing jail will depend on the work undertaken and could be phased over time

Add 100 bed housing pod: Total Project Cost in 2011: $6,500,000 to $7,000,000.

If expanding the existing jail at the current site is not possible or not desired, a new jail on a remote site could be constructed. At that time the number o beds in the jail should be reconsidered to ensure the size is adequate. The site selected and the design of the jail should allow for expansion so the County does not find itself built into a corner again.

New 100 bed jail: Approximately 40,000 square feet. Total Project Cost in 2011: $13,500,000 to $15,000,000.

A remote jail could be part of a “justice complex” which could include the courts, the clerk, the jail, the prosecutor, the probation departments and community correction. It could be phased over time. The county should consider what happens to the existing courthouse as the complex is developed. Exterior concrete and plate is cracking in areas. This should be repaired.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the courthouse study.