Previous work by jail architect a success
When Marion County Commissioner Randy Dallke first arrived at Anderson County Jail in Garnett for a tour, he was happy to see that the jail matched the adjacent brick courthouse.
“You’re very pleased aesthetically by what you see,” he said of the jail.
The commission toured the facility in June. It was designed by Treanor Architects P.A., the same firm the commission hired to design a new law enforcement center for Marion County.
Dallke said there was a lot to like about the Anderson County facility’s functionality and economics.
When entering the building or moving between secure areas, staff and visitors have to identify themselves, Dallke said.
The secure jail area consists of several inmate “pods,” which separate inmates into categories based on factors including gender, severity of offenses, and whether they participate in work release programs. The jailer on duty can see into all of the pods from a central control station.
The jail also has an internal exercise room, which is an empty cell with an overhead door out of inmates’ reach that allows in natural light and fresh air.
Overall, the jail appears to be well-designed for safety and security of both staff and inmates, Dallke said.
Aside from its exterior appearance, the Anderson County Jail doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary frills.
“This is not an immaculate facility,” Dallke said. “It’s a clean facility,” but it isn’t fancy.
When the commission entered the building, the first thing Dallke noticed was that the floors were textured concrete rather than carpet or tile. He said that would be less expensive and easier to maintain.
The doors in the facility are painted steel-frame doors. Commissioners had seen expensive cherry wood doors at one facility they toured in 2008.
The heating, cooling, and kitchen facilities are modern and allow Anderson County to save significant amounts on operations costs, Dallke said. He hopes Marion County’s budget will allow for a precisely controlled heating and cooling system like the one in Anderson County.
Dane Hicks, publisher of the Anderson County Review, said the jail has lived up to expectations since it opened in 2009.
“Nobody’s gotten out of it, unless the court let them out,” Hicks said.
There were some issues with drainage, heating, and air conditioning during construction, but nothing he would call “design flaws,” he said.
“I think it’s a good facility,” Hicks said.
Before the jail was constructed, many people were concerned about how it would fit in on the county square, where it was built on the site of the previous jail.
But Hicks said the jail looks professional and doesn’t clash with the courthouse.
Last modified July 14, 2011