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Fulton County Opens New Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center

by: Jack Quigley
Fulton County hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Sherriff’s Office and Detention Center in late September, marking the opening of a safer and more capable facility for a Fulton County Sherriff’s Office in need of upgraded facilities.

Understanding the need for a new jail facility is no small undertaking. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Fulton County Commissioners recognized that their facility – built in Rochester, Indiana, in 1985 – was quickly deteriorating and was not meeting current ACA and Indiana jail standards, nor was it properly housing all of Fulton County’s inmates.

Through the formation of a Jail Committee by Fulton County officials, the Elevatus team was engaged to help design a solution for the lack of space. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department toured many facilities in Indiana and kept coming back to one of Elevatus’ recently completed projects, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

“After deciding to build a new jail, we contracted with Elevatus Architecture for the design and hired Garmong Construction as the project managers,” said Bryan W. Lewis, President of the County Commissioners. “Through the bidding process, we were very fortunate to have contracted with Weigand Construction as the general contractor and some amazing trade contractors to build our jail. The team was assembled and construction began. Through the process, Elevatus and Garmong guided us through value engineering changes to build the best possible product on time and under budget.”

Working with a few design modifications noted in preconstruction meetings, the 49,910-square-foot facility has 230 beds with 198 beds in its housing pod, 12 beds for inmate workers, and an intake and holding area containing 20 beds.

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The new Fulton County Sherriff’s Office and Detention Center will host several needs, including:

  • A full-service kitchen and laundry area
  • CSI lab
  • Detectives’ offices
  • Squad room
  • 911 dispatch area
  • Multi-purpose room

In addition to all the spaces typically hosted inside jail facilities, the county elected to incorporate a forensic center and a morgue into to the new jail. The 2,000-square-foot space that will host these additions includes a garage/dock, a conference space, a morgue cooler, and a procedure room. The space also includes a private entrance for next of kin to identify or release the deceased.

Managing and Meeting Expectations
“This project was successful because we had a really good team relationship between the designer and county,” said Jake Wagle, Project Supervisor at Garmong Construction Services. “The construction process was very open and transparent, everyone pulled their own weight, and things just came together well.”

Garmong has completed, or is constructing, more jail projects in Indiana within the past five years than any other contractor in the state, with completed projects in Fulton, Greene, and Posey counties with projects in Johnson, Hancock, and Hendricks counties nearing completion – Hendricks being the second largest jail facility in Indiana. Garmong also contributed to the recent Marion County detention center project, as well as jails in Vigo, Vermillion, Clay, Knox, and Sullivan counties.

Wagle said his firm’s recent focus on the county detention market has introduced the company to a wide range of clients and project stakeholders – some more engaged than others.

“The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center project started when it was supposed to start, it was on time, it was under budget, and the county was very engaged,” Wagle said. “We use the term ‘manage expectations’ a lot at Garmong, and this is a project where we were able to manage everyone’s expectations well for the outcome of the project.”

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Wagle said Paul Weust, Project Manager at Garmong, and Jeff Angus, Superintendent at Garmong, worked closely with the client and designers to provide feedback throughout the design and construction process.

Project Team
  • Beer & Slabaugh
  • C&T Design Equipment
  • Culligan Water Conditioning of Fulton County, IN (Rochester)
  • D&D Electric
  • E&B Paving (Rochester)
  • Elevatus Architecture
  • Engineering Resources, Inc.
  • Fulton County Highway Department (Rochester)
  • Garmong Construction Services
  • JL Walter & Associates
  • Lease Excavating and Hauling LLC (Rochester)
  • Mechanical Concepts
  • Pauly Jail Building Company
  • Roesma Corporation
  • RSQ Fire Protection
  • RTC Communications (Rochester)
  • SCO Engineering
  • Security Automation Systems
  • Springcreek Landscaping & Nursery
  • Vorndran & Associates
  • Weigand Construction

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