The work on the Austin County Jail is continuing with phase 1 currently being done. Phase one was the construction of a temporary wall in the jail, the removal of mold, and steps necessary to prevent mold and moisture from returning. (If you would like to see the complete details on phase one you can go HERE to read the report as well as watch the presentation)
Commissioners court was given a presentation of what part 2 of the jail reconstruction would look like by Kenneth Burns of Burns Architecture, LLC. Phase 2 of the jail construction focuses on addressing two main issues, mandated by the Texas Jail Commission, concerning the Sheriff’s Department. These were outlined by the report submitted by Burns Architecture. They are that:
- The dispatch/communication center is too small to properly function as the county’s primary call/dispatch center
- The Sheriff’s office space needs have long exceeded the space available inside the original building. Supplementing their space needs are two manufactured metal out-buildings that most likely were never intended to be permanent. Neither building meets Texas Accessibility Standards. These buildings are approximately 1,300 square feet each and house the investigator’s office, evidence processing, evidence storage, patrol deputies’ room, sergeants’ office, lieutenants’ office, warrants office, civil deputies’ office, jail records office, and crime victim liaison office. These buildings do not provide the level of security expected of a law enforcement facility nor are they conducive to efficient operation of the Sheriff’s office.
Burns Architecture submitted a plan to build an addition to the Sheriff’s Department where the parking lot currently resides. This additional structure would be around 14,000 square feet and provide the necessary space and modernization to address the deficits of the current structure.
During the presentation, discussion of the aging courthouse came up. During this discussion, the idea of adding a second and possibly third story to the new addition at the Sheriff’s Department was presented. These additional floor(s) were to allow the migration of some areas and duties of the current courthouse to these new sections.
Mr. Burns then stated that he would need to conduct interviews with heads of departments at the courthouse to determine their needs in order to formulate a new plan of construction. He then said that he would come at a future date to present his findings to the court.
Here is the entire presentation and discussion in its entirety: