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Supervisors approve new law enforcement center floor plan

This is the latest plan for a new law enforcement center west of the Floyd County courthouse, as well as some of the changes planned for the ground floor of the courthouse including a new board room for the Board of Supervisors. Prochaska & Associates drawing.
This is the latest plan for a new law enforcement center west of the Floyd County courthouse, except that the county Board of Supervisors voted to make the west wall straight instead of jutting out where the jail exercise room is. Prochaska & Associates drawing.
By Bob Steenson, 

The Floyd County Board of Supervisors approved the floor plan for the new law enforcement center with one slight modification at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday morning.

The approval will let the county’s architectural firm, Prochaska & Associates of Omaha, Nebraska, proceed with more detailed drawings and exterior views for the law enforcement center, which will include a new county jail.

The $13.5 million project that was approved by voters in May also includes updates to the Floyd County courthouse, but final details on what those updates will involve are still being determined. At a minimum it will include all new windows in the courthouse, a new heating and air-conditioning system shared with the LEC and a remodeled fourth floor where the county jail and Sheriff’s Office are currently located.

Prochaska representatives had asked the supervisors last week to approve the LEC floor plan so the project didn’t fall too far behind schedule while courthouse renovation decisions are being made.

Part of the latest floor plan included a section of the jail that protruded out from what would be the west wall.

State jail regulations require an exercise space for detainees that is at least 18 feet tall — which will be taller than the height of the rest of the law enforcement center — and Prochaska architect Jim Classe had designed the west exterior of the exercise space as a visual element of the building, possibly with different finishing materials, to break up the long west side.

But supervisors approved the floor plan Tuesday with an instruction to make the west wall a straight line.

“It just seems every extra corner adds cost,” said Linda Tjaden, board chairwoman.

She said the architects had told her there was enough space with the exercise area and an adjoining storage area that the wall could be straightened and still have enough area to meet the exercise room requirements.

The law enforcement center will include a 32-bed jail with a central control area with line of sight into each of the cell pods and exercise area, and an intake area, kitchen and laundry.

The LEC will also house the Sheriff’s Office, including offices, squad room, locker rooms, evidence storage and more; a county dispatch area including master control, office space and breakroom; and a multipurpose room that could be used for training and for an emergency operations center for the county Emergency Management Agency in the event of natural disaster or other emergency.

The supervisors also discussed a timetable for hiring a construction manager for the project, and Tjaden said that person could be helpful to the board in making some of the decisions on the changes in the courthouse.

She said she would talk with the Prochaska representatives about getting started on the construction manager selection process.

Also at the Tuesday meeting, the supervisors:

— Approved an offer to buy for 101 S. Jackson St., the second of two residential properties the county must purchase to make room for the new law enforcement center. The offer is for $55,000 plus $10,000 for moving and other expenses.

Assistant County Attorney Randall Tilton said now that the county has approved the offer, the sellers, who live out of the area, can sign the sale agreement and a closing is scheduled to take place Oct. 9.

— Approved purchasing two pickup trucks for the county engineer’s department. The trucks will be purchased at the state bid price from Bob Brown Chevrolet in Des Moines, for $29,650 for a pickup with an 8-foot box and $29,468 for a pickup with a 6½-foot box.

County Engineer Dusten Rolando said because of the state price bidding system, local vehicle dealers don’t usually bid on county vehicle purchases, but local dealers are used to handle warranty and repair and maintenance work on the vehicles.

— Received the county engineer’s annual report.