SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Several buildings in downtown Springfield will be demolished making room for new jail space.
The work at Boonville Avenue and Central Street will ease the overcrowding at the current detention center. That process begins next week and you, the taxpayer, are paying for it.
Voters approved a half a cent sales tax last November; it's already in effect. This demolition is the first thing the county is spending it on.
"This is really the first phase that the public gets to see," said Kevin Barnes, the director of Resources Management for Greene County.
It's all coming down - what used to house the Public Administrator Office and juvenile court programs to make room for a jail expansion.
"The Hogan building, they are actually going to tear that part down first," said Barnes.
According to the history museum, a Kroger store used to operate at 919 Booneville in the 1930's. And at 915, Lawson Gibbs Title Company. And the lettering on the side of a building now uninhabitable and structurally unsafe reminds us that Carr Shade Factory opened for business here in the early 1930s.
"The next week or so, you should see a lot of the buildings coming down,"
Kevin Barnes, the director of resource management with the county tells me the demolition process alone will cost about $100,000.
Traffic along Booneville is not expected to be impacted, however the sidewalks will be closed.
"As we demolish these buildings we are going to have to be careful to protect all these utilities, and then of course as we get into the construction of the jail we will have to coordinate either relocating the utilities, improving them or just avoiding them," Barnes said.
It will take 30 days for demolition and clean up to be complete, turning the space into a public parking lot. Construction of the new jail will begin next year.
"It will be the sheriff's office. All of his people will be in one building, and then it will also be a detention center," Barnes said.
It will take about a year to start seeing the building going up in that lot. Barnes says the design process has already begun and once that's completed we will know exactly how much the expansion will cost.
The county has selected an architect and will be selecting a construction manager in the next couple weeks.
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