Report Given From Architects Of The Jail
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On Monday, January 23, 2023, Adam Kuehl, primary architect from HMN Architects of the Kansas City Metro Area met with the Shelby County Commissioners and the Shelby County Jail Committee to discuss findings from the architectural firm on the conditions of the Shelby County Jail. Mr. Kuehl spoke at length regarding the findings and paused to answer several questions from those in attendance. The three key points emphasized in his presentation included the following topics: (1) Explanation of current Jail conditions, (2) site analysis and (3) project budget. The approach to the study was derived from the experiences of HMN in providing similar services for other County Criminal Justice facilities, accepted planning procedures, and from studying and analyzing unique circumstances in Shelby County. The initial step included meeting with the Jail Planning Committee to receive input, establish priority needs, and tour extensively the existing facilities.
The report includes some general facts about Shelby County. The County was founded in 1835, contains approximately 502 square miles, and claims a population according to the 2021 census of 5,976. The County Sheriff’s office is a full service, professional law enforcement agency providing crime prevention patrol and civil process services, court security and jail detention services for the citizens of the County. The current jail, sheriff’s office, and 911/Dispatch is located in the basement of the courthouse. The bar front jail was originally built to house 14 detainees within a single classification. The plumbing, HVAC, and other equipment is beyond its useful life and will require replacement. The Shelby County Jail has been at the end of its serviceable life for years. It would not be feasible or cost effective to correct any of the deficiencies listed above. The current facilities cannot be rated for detainee capacity by American Correctional Association (ACA) standards, and air quality does not meet building code or ACA standards. The current facility is not accessible to the public. Current inmate property storage could cause some problems for the county 911/Dispatch modern facilities and equipment. The current Jail, Sheriff’s Office, and 911/Dispatch needs to be replaced to meet current and future law enforcement needs. Continuing to operate the existing facility is dangerous for the public, staff, and detainees and may result in a lawsuit.
Space and jail bed needs were then developed from Sheriff Arron Fredrickson’s suggestions, the jail planning committee, current Constitutional Standards for Adult Detention Facilities, Life Safety Codes,
Accepted Planning Guidelines, and HMN experience with planning and designing criminal justice facilities. Based upon the data available for 20 year projections, the inmate population growth trend indicates the need for a 30 bed jail in the main housing area. The major factors driving demand for these jail beds are (1) County population growth, (2) increase in crime rate, (3) increase in criminal case filings, and (4) the requirement to separate inmates by classifications (no ability to do this at present).
The Space Needs Program developed by HMN Architects indicates that to cover the requirements for the Sheriff’s Department, Jail, and Jail support about 12,200 square feet of initial construction will be necessary to address these concerns. HMN provides a diagram which is part of this press release to identify the proposed orientation the new jail and components for each service. This conceptual plan is designed to meet the anticipated needs for the next 20 years and includes provisions for future expansion. The study recommends a project budget for the “King’s One Stop” site which includes construction costs, furnishing, professional fees and other items listed to total $6,992,417. The County has commissioned environmental testing on the existing buildings and land, and the project budget accommodates some remediation if required. The size and dimensions of the site are ideal for the scope of the project.
More specific explanations are going to be featured in the informational video presentation that expects to become available during the February time frame. The next press release intends to address the proposed funding mechanisms as prepared by L.J. Hart & Company, the County’s Municipal Bond Underwriter.
The Shelby County Jail Committee and the County Commissioners understand that this news release does not answer all of the questions the public might have. For these reasons, a copy of the entire HMN study and report is available to be read in its entirety in the Sheriff’s office or Commissioner’s offices. It is also hoped that the video discussion of the new jail project by Adam Kuehl of HMN Architects will address the logistics and needs for the new jail and law enforcement facilities. Individuals are encouraged to attend meetings of the County Commission to examine the proposal and communicate directly about the jails existing situation and plans to remedy it.