Racine, Wisc., to See Jail Expansion

July 17, 2006
Demolition of older building to make way for significant growth at corrections facility

Jul. 16--Racine -- Demolition of the former County Board office building will begin this week to clear the way for expansion of the Racine County Jail.

The building, at 733 Wisconsin Ave. -- southwest of the County Jail and Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave. -- is scheduled to be razed Tuesday, Sheriff Robert Carlson said.

The building most recently housed the Women's Resource Center's Hand-to-Hand program, which provided supervised visits for non-custodial parents of children and a neutral drop-off point for children of divorced and separated parents. The program has moved to First Baptist Church, 3117 Lathrop Ave.

The demolition of the building and subsequent work that will begin on the block will result in the closing of 8th St., between Main and College Ave., according to Sheriff's Lt. John Gordon, assistant jail administrator. It also will result in limited metered parking in the construction zone, he said.

"New construction will end in October 2007, and then the renovation will begin," Gordon said. The entire project is expected to be completed by March 2008, he said.

The jail renovation project will add 210 additional dormitory-style beds to the jail and will add an unfinished floor in case future renovation is needed.

In addition to jail beds, the renovation project will address some long-standing infrastructure problems. The project will renovate the intake area and holding cell area of the jail; expand the laundry service; expand the kitchen service areas; and expand the medical service area.

The County Board in November gave final approval to move ahead with the jail construction project.

The county is borrowing $18.9 million over 20 years, for a total price of $29.13 million, to build an addition to the jail and to make the renovations.