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Plans presented for $2.6 million addition and remodeling of Kandiyohi County Jail

The Kandiyohi County Board got its first look at nearly completed plans for the remodel project at the county jail. Klein McCarthy Architects presented on the project at Tuesday's meeting.

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A computerized rendering of what the new booking area in the Kandiyohi County Jail will look like once construction is completed. Danielle Reid, Klein McCarthy Architects, showed the Kandiyohi County Board a digital walk through of the plans at Tuesday's meeting. Klein McCarthy Architects art / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR β€” When Kandiyohi County hired Klein McCarthy Architects to design needed upgrades at the nearly 20-year-old county jail, the wish list included an expanded booking area, more holding cells and increased square footage in the medical area. The plans unveiled at the May 19 County Board meeting show the architectural firm designed a project that meets those goals, as well as solves an issue with the jail's heating and cooling system.

"We are doing everything possible, we sent things back to the drawing board several times," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl. "Our staff have been involved immensely in this."

Klein McCarthy was hired in October and last week's presentation was the first look the board and the public have had of the design plans.

The project includes the construction of a 2,800-square-foot addition and the remodeling of another 4,500 square feet of the jail's booking and holding area. The project is estimated to cost $2,609,438 including construction and soft costs such as furniture, equipment and contingency.

"We believe it is within the line we were looking at," Kleindl said. "Higher than we initially thought because of the changes in the mechanical systems."

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The project costs will be paid with revenue from boarding prisoners at the jail, along with savings to be realized next year when the original bond for building the jail is paid off.

"We have the funds available, the other half we will hopefully get as the project is being built," Kleindl said. "If we need to, we will take it out of reserves. We are not planning to levy for this."

In the new design, the vehicle sally port is expanded, along with the booking area. The number of holding cells is increased along with special cells for those who are suffering from mental health issues or are disabled. The jail will also have larger medical facilities.

In addition to the new space, the jail's mechanical systems need work. The facility is heated and cooled by a geothermal system. However, five of the lines which transport the temperature-conducting fluid through the facility are no longer operational. At peak usage, the heat and cooling system has difficulty meeting demand.

To solve the issue, a cooler and boiler will be installed at the jail, which will assist the geothermal system when needed to heat or cool the facility. It was decided it was more efficient to install the new equipment than to try to repair the broken geothermal lines, which would have required digging up the parking lot.

"We want to do the best we could," Kleindl said. "We needed to add something to make the capacity work."

To allow the jail to remain open during construction, the project will be done in two phases. The new addition will be completed first and then the remodeling portion. The contractor will be putting up temporary enclosures around the area to provide security during the job.

"Our jail is still going to be in operation," Kleindl said.

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The plans for the project should be completed and released to the county by mid-June with local bid advertising in mid-July. With the weeks of planning and the many different parties at the table, including the Department of Corrections, county staff is hoping the project will be able to move forward with no unexpected issues.

"I hope to gosh we don't have any surprises," Kleindl said.

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The remodel at the Kandiyohi County Jail will added additional holding cells, which are in high demand. File photo / West Central Tribune

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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