After four years of only partial use, the Lloyd Pete Harrison Jefferson County Sheriff's building is finally going to be finished. The building at 410 E. Second Ave. adjacent to the adult detention center had about one-fourth of its interior completed because there wasn't enough money available to finish it when construction began four years ago. The portion being used houses the Criminal Investigation Division and Tri-County Drug Task Force.
The department's Patrol Division is currently located in a building in the 100 block of Barraque Street and the Administrative and Warrants Divisions are in the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Maj. Lafayette Woods Jr. said his office received approval from the Jefferson County Quorum Court to obtain a Relyance Bank loan of $850,000 to finish construction of the inside of the building. The original price tag was $1.8 million but after contractors bid on the project, the price dropped to $1.2 million.
“Based on the amount of money to be loaned, there is a clear path of repayment,” Woods said. “I think it is a smart move. The big picture if you think ahead is saving money by having all the divisions being housed under one roof and in one facility. We are currently spread out and spending money on insurance and utilities on separate buildings. [Being in one building] is going to bring up productivity. Citizens will come to one office instead of going to several buildings. It allows us to be in one place.”
“Sheriff Gerald Robinson and I may not fill certain non-essential non-enforcement positions,” Woods said. “We are about having adequate manpower. We are eager and appreciate support of people who made this possible. It builds morale when we see each other.”
The interior portion that has not been completed is being put out to bid for drywall, insulation, heating/ventilation/air conditioning, venting, electrical, lighting, flooring, cabinetry, and specialty furniture. In the construction of the building, there will be a ventilated secure evidence room, which will hold drug evidence per state code. The investigators will drop drug evidence into the lock box which they cannot open, Woods said. There will be a small crime laboratory in which officers will package evidence.
An elevator has been built at a cost between $60,000 to $70,000. There will be two staircases. The second level of the building will include a training room for in-service training, a computer simulation “to allow us to do non-live fire for shoot or do not shoot” situations, Woods said.
Heavy equipment is currently parked behind a fence at the front of the building to prepare the ground for a parking lot, Woods said.
“It is getting ready to get colder. You want to do concrete work in warmer weather. The county road department will build the new parking lot. We hope to have an interior work inside the building done by May 2018.”
The contractor is Reed Nelson Architectural Firm and the construction manager is Jim Lloyd.