In 2105, Tower Pinkster was hired by Barry County to develop a Master Facilities Plan for a long term plan for the buildings it owns. The firm studied 12 county buildings and produced a plan and facilities assessment, delivered to the county commission in April, 2015.
The assessments and recommendations taken from the 2015 plans are on the jail and COA building only.
BARRY COUNTY JAIL:
Tower Pinkster said the jail was in poor shape, with systems beyond their useful lives, antiquated security systems and hardware difficult to maintain. The building was sound, but did not allow for modifications or flexibility for any future use.
Work stations were undersized and overall space of staff was undersized for programs, services, kitchen, laundry, warehouse, commissary, maintenance and housekeeping.
Lines of sight for monitoring inmates were compromised in several areas, as was the parking lot from the front desk. Daylight and air quality are inadequate, the 2015 report said.
As for a location for a new jail, the report said the present site’s size and location is an asset for future development; they did not recommend using a county owned piece of property on M-79 and Nashville Road. The premier operational location for the jail is to be attached to the courthouse, the assessment said.
A new jail should have 60,000 sq. ft. for administration, law enforcement and 150 inmate beds, and a 14,500 sq. ft. detached garage. The layout was mindful of energy efficiency, staffing operations and maintenance costs, the largest expenses of a jail. Built as a lock-up in 1970, the facility has had miscellaneous additions.
Tower Pinkster recommended building a new COA building adjacent to its present site. Built for a different purpose, deficiencies, improper drainage and functional obsolescence has led to deterioration to the structure and foundation.
They recommended an increase in adult day care space from one room to three, expanding the dining area to hold 50 people, more room for arts and crafts and the large meeting room and providing a staff break room and workshop area.
A 20,000 sq. ft. single story COA facility was recommended, using the existing parking and adding more to the north after the present building is demolished.
In 2015, the cost of a new jail was set at $24.95 million; a new COA building, $4.55 million.
Municipal bonding backed by voter approved millage would be required to finance a new jail and COA.