SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Crews are putting the final touches on Greene County’s new jail and sheriff’s office this week.
Officials tell OzarksFirst that the 150-million-dollar project is nearing completion on schedule.
While construction has wrapped up on the administrative side of the building, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office says there’s still work to be done on the jail side.
Administrative staff began moving over equipment on Monday, but Kevin Barnes, Resource Management Director with the Greene County Commission says transferring inmates will happen in the coming weeks.
“The administrative staff is planning on moving in the facility this week. You know, they’re going to they’re going to train on the jail portion of this, plus give us a little time to do some catch up paintings and things like that we need to do in the jail,” says Barnes.
The new facility will bring all Greene County Sheriff’s Office employees under one roof for the first time in decades.
The new jail will be able to house 1,200 inmates, essentially doubling the county’s current capacity.
While the site will take the burden off the overcrowded jail downtown, Barnes says it’s the functionality and the look of the new building he hopes will help attract and keep much-needed staff.
I saw a poster that really made a big impression on me, and it said the person serving the longest sentence in your facility are your employees,” Barnes says. “It really makes a difference that people who work there. I mean, people come and go, they get arrested and they go on to their trial and then on to the Department of Corrections, but your staff stays there, hopefully, for a 20-year period. Having that nice working environment will be good for retention, I believe.”
Right now, the 24-acre complex is just outside the Springfield city limits.
On Monday, City Council heard the first reading of a bill that would annex the property into the city limits.
Barnes with the Greene County Commission says annexation is recommended to allow for the Springfield Fire Department to respond during an emergency.
The construction is being funded by a half-cent sales tax increase voters approved in 2017.
Public tours of the facility will be held on May 13th following a dedication ceremony.
City Council will vote on annexation on May 16th.