The Linn County Correctional Center reopened in May 2009. Linn County worked with FEMA on mitigation and improvements that will reduce the severity of damages should there ever be another flood of the magnitude of 2008.
In January 2010, the Board of Supervisors reviewed a proposal to make improvements to the Linn County jail including building a three-story addition on the south side of the building. The improvements and addition (referred to as Phase II) would fulfill multiple needs at the jail and the Courthouse.
Mitigation & Phase II
The driving force of Phase II is mitigation. Highlights of the plan included elevating mechanical and electrical equipment that powers the jail and the Courthouse to an upper level to protect the equipment in the event of another flood. The jail's laundry room was moved to an upper level as part of the mitigation. In its place, isolation cells were constructed on the main level. Other improvements include expanding the jail's kitchen to improve efficiency. When the jail was built in 1984, it was designed for 135 inmates and the kitchen was designed to serve that number. The capacity of the jail has now grown to 409 inmates and the kitchen design has not kept up with the increase in capacity. Expanding the kitchen creates more efficiencies in its operation.
The plan also included converting the jail's two main hydraulic elevators to traction control elevators. Traction elevators are operated by counter-weights and are faster than hydraulic elevators and require less maintenance. The traction elevator is protected from future flooding because the mechanics of a traction elevator are not located in the lowest level of the building as they are with hydraulic elevators. With the increased capacity of the jail, traction control elevators will allow deputies and jail staff to move inmates and supplies more efficiently.
By the Numbers
Total Cost: $7.6 million
Architect: Aspect, Inc.
General Contractor: Miron Construction
$3.5 million FEMA
$4.1 million Linn County bonding
Elevate mechanical and electrical equipment
Convert hydraulic elevators to traction control elevators