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Kandiyohi County OKs formal contract with jail architect

The Kandiyohi County Board has approved a formal contract with an architectural firm to develop plans and cost estimates for renovation at the county jail.

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WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board approved a formal contract Tuesday with the Twin Cities architectural firm selected for a renovation project at the county jail.

The commissioners also had a chance to meet personally with Scott Fettig, owner of the Klein McCarthy firm and the architect who will be working directly with Kandiyohi County on the project.

Fettig was onsite Tuesday to view the jail, examine the existing design and meet with staff to talk about the proposed project.

The county is looking at a renovation that would increase the number of holding cells at the jail and revamp the intake area and sally port where prisoners enter and leave the building. The changes, sparked by a growing demand for holding space for prisoners with mental health needs, have been under discussion for several months.

There's no estimate yet for how much the project might cost. Estimates will be forthcoming once a series of design options is developed.

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There will be several opportunities over the next several months for the County Board to review the options and make decisions before the final go-ahead, said Larry Kleindl, county administrator. "All those processes will come before you," he told the commissioners Tuesday.

One concern raised by the County Board was to ensure the architects design the project to take the jail as a whole into consideration. Although the proposed renovation is confined to the intake and holding area, it would be prudent to use it as an opportunity to identify other potential needs, said Commissioner Steve Ahmann.

"You try to be visionary," he said.

"We certainly could look at any other items you would come up with," Fettig responded.

The design process is expected to take at least a few months. If the County Board votes to go forward with the project, construction likely would start later in 2020.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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