Jail renovation could welcome Homeland Security office

Published 12:24 am Friday, March 4, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
The Carter County Building and Grounds committee heard on Tuesday night that drawings have been completed for the Carter County jail to be completely renovated to include a new archive facility and office space for a federal Homeland Security office to lease.
Until talks could move forward Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford hesitated to mention who could potentially help pay for the renovation in an approximate 3,800-foot space on the top portion of the jail with a lease agreement.
Lunceford and Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby made the announcement during the meeting.
“It will be a fully stand-alone office just like our offices in Chattanooga and Knoxville,” said Scott Crawford – Agent in Charge for the Tri-Cities area.
Drawings compiled by architect Tom Shanks were presented to the committee to review and present questions.
The project is estimated to cost over $9 million dollars to complete and includes moving the sheriff and his staff on the second floor as well while a new 6,500 square foot archive room would also be completed on the first floor of the facility.
There is a separate fund for the archive renovation which currently has an $800,000 budget for the project.
Woodby said there have been extensive meetings with Homeland Security, the sheriff, Shanks, and herself in regard to the renovation project, and once complete the center would be a true Criminal Justice Center.
The project also includes plans to enlarge the jury room to make it a little less crowded for jurors who will be deliberating and making some intense judgments according to Woodby.
Homeland Security only requires open space and their office would be completely built by the federal government to meet the specifications required for operation.
Funding for the project still hasn’t been addressed nor a time frame for the project to begin once funded.

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