Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Stearns County Board of Commissioners appointed a committee to oversee remodeling and future development of the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). The oversight committee will hire an architect to design plans to complete a short-term solution to the jail overcrowding and safety and security issues related to the LEC.
Earlier this year, the Board of Commissioners reviewed a Criminal Justice Space Study Report. At that time, they directed county staff to do three things:
Begin preliminary work on a Phase I short-term solution to make the jail more secure, safer, and efficient for 5-10 years.
Come up with a financial plan on how to complete a long-term solution.
Look for land that could possibly house a new criminal justice facility.
Jail staff laid out a completed preliminary design for upgrading the facility in the short-term. Those preliminary plans call for the female unit of the jail to move to the first floor to allow for more beds for this growing jail population and to reduce the need to pay for transporting women to jails in other counties. Also moving downstairs would be work-release inmates. A portion of the first floor is currently open, vacant since the St. Cloud Police Department moved out of the building in 2009. Male inmates would remain on the second floor, allowing for separation between males and females, as well as an expanded and more secure booking area.
Construction costs for this renovation project is between $5 million and $6 million. Remodeling the facility doesn't call for any additional staff. Building a new facility is expected to cost around $100 million.