Renovations to the Starke County Courthouse and former jail in downtown Knox are on track to start in July and conclude by the end of the year. The county commissioners last night approved design and development documents for the project. Plans call for the old jail to be renovated into office space for Starke County Community Corrections, the probation department and Purdue Extension.
The courthouse will be reconfigured to accommodate the prosecutor’s office on the first floor and give the clerk’s office additional space on the second level. Public access to the building would be restricted to one door, and metal detectors would be installed. Continue reading →
Nearly six months after the first inmates moved into the new Starke County Jail east of Knox the architect and builder are recommending a $525,000 addition to the facility. Architect and project manager Scott Carnegie with DLZ told the council and commissioners an automatic auger would catch small items like cellophane and plastic wrappers inmates flush down the toilets and keep them out of the city’s sanitary sewer system. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
A large number of people attended yesterday morning’s opening of the bids for the new Starke County Jail facility, including representatives for DLZ, Skillman Corporation and the Building Corporation. The county commissioners officially stopped accepting bids for the work shortly after opening the meeting, but it was noted that one contractor is filing a protest because he felt “excluded” from the bid process.
The Starke County Commissioners at their meeting yesterday morning heard an update on the county jail project and approved the schematic design, giving the Skillman Corporation and DLZ authority to begin design development. Scott Carnegie, architect for DLZ, told the commissioners that DLZ has been working with the Skillman Corporation over the past several weeks, discussing the design approach and cost.
The Starke County Commissioners this week approved two contracts regarding the proposed construction of a new Starke County jail facility.
One contract was signed with Skillman Corporation, who will be handling the construction of the facility. The local on-site construction manager will be Bob Chorba, a Starke County resident. Chorba currently works with Skillman, and has been the project manager for several projects handled by Skillman. A contract was also signed with DLZ, the architectural firm that will be handling the design aspects of the facility.
The Starke County Jail Committee met recently and a consultant from the DLZ Corporation gave the committee options concerning the jail. Commissioner Kathy Norem said several public information meetings have been scheduled to inform county residents of those findings.
“The first will be Thursday, July 26 at the Knox Middle School Cafeteria at 6 p.m., or you can attend one of the other two meetings,” Norem explained. “One will be Tuesday, July 31 at the Oregon-Davis High School Cafeteria at 6 p.m. or Wednesday, August 1 at 6 p.m. at the North Judson-San Pierre High School Auditorium.”
Norem says a number of options were presented by DLZ, and each of them have their pros and cons.
With state corrections facilities running out of room, a summer study committee is looking into the possibility of housing criminals charged with Class D felonies in county jails rather than the Department of Corrections.
Because of this, the Starke County Jail Committee has been encouraged to plan for a facility with 130 beds rather than just 100 to ensure that even if the state does decide to send D-felony offenders back to the county, they won’t have to worry about overcrowding.
The Culver Town Council has received several letters from residents of the town notifying them of water issues, and they plan to attach these letters to a grant application to get these problems fixed. Recently, the review committee met with three different engineers in regards to a grant to conduct a water study. Commonwealth Engineers, DLZ, and GAI Consultants were reviewed, and Commonwealth was approved as the engineer if the water study grant is received.