Phase 2 of the study of Kewaunee County’s obsolete jail recommends building a new law enforcement center at a site to be determined, but most likely at the farm field adjacent to the county Administration Center that was purchased last year.

John Cain of Venture Associates consulting firm made a presentation at the June 16 Kewaunee County Board meeting summarizing the company’s work with an ad hoc committee that has been working toward replacing the 50-year-old county jail next to the County Courthouse.

The proposal includes a 52-cell jail – with cells large enough to accommodate up to 85 beds if necessary – offices for the Sheriff’s Department, which is currently housed in the courthouse basement, and an up-to-date 911 dispatch center.

Cain said the next step would be a County Board vote this summer approving funding for the beginning of Phase 3, which would involve preparation of a schematic design for the project.

“That approval is simply to allow us to go into the next deign phase,” he said. “That does not fund the project; that would come at a later date. There’s opportunity going forward at many steps to discuss and debate this project.”

The Safety Building, especially the jail, has been an issue for some time because of its deteriorating condition and a design that does not allow adequate monitoring of prisoners compared with modern podular jails, Cain said. It has a rated capacity of 22 beds, about half the average population, forcing the county to house inmates in other counties, and the site provides no room for expansion.

County Board Chairman Dan Olson said supervisors would like to know how much the schematic design phase would cost before moving forward with a vote.

Cain’s presentation and the resulting discussion can be followed beginning at the 11:05 mark of the meeting video, which is available on YouTube at this link: