Designing for the Future of Justice in Webster County

Webster County Justice Center

HMN Architects was selected to design the new Webster County Justice Center in Marshfield, Missouri. The new facility will replace their existing jail located in the courthouse that was complete in 1941. The original jail was designed to hold eight inmates.

Webster County had selected a site occupied by the Robertson building, which had anchored the town square’s northeast corner since 1894. It was a landmark, but it had fallen into disrepair. Replacing a local landmark brings many obstacles for the design team. However, creating a design that pays homage to the landmark by updating the town square, and providing critical services for the community’s safety, lessens any criticism.

The proposed concept shared some of the Robertson’s building’s architectural features, a pediment, a covered walkway, and distinctive red brick. The new 56,000 square-foot facility is significantly larger and houses the jail, Sheriff’s office, and a courtroom.

The 110-bed jail includes the Jail Administrator’s office and work-related areas for the jail staff. The facility also has nine holding cells in its intake and booking area and a work-release area that holds 16 males and eight females.

The design team looked at cost-effective ways to meet the budget and add future growth for the county. An additional 40-beds can be gained by infilling the housing pod’s open corner, and further expansion was master-planned for the area north of the cooking kitchen.

The front entry sets on the corner and addresses the courthouse, accessed by stairs, or a covered ADAAG ramp. The Sheriff’s office is the only department on this level until phase two. The use of wood products manufactured locally allowed the county to create a warm atmosphere with paneled walls, wainscot, and trim. The two-story entry is highlighted with a large gabled skylight. The use of natural light continues with a curtain wall along the covered south wall of the lobby and wraps around the east end to extend for the future courts’ functions. Persons entering the new justice center will be required to pass through a magnetometer at a security station before gaining access to the Sheriff’s Department or court.

The Sheriff’s Office includes offices for the Sheriff, Chief Deputy, Administrative Supervisor, and a large flexible space for administrative staff, detectives, and road patrol. Within the facility, there are large multi-purpose rooms that will facilitate training activities and meetings. There are multiple interview rooms, storage spaces, and areas for I.T. and record keeping.

The third level houses the jury courtroom with spaces for the Clerk of the Court, County Attorney, and Judge to utilize until the second phase is constructed. A secure elevator brings detainees from the jail to a holding area adjacent to the courtroom well so the accused can be escorted to the bench or be seated with their defense team.

The design does a great job of respecting the town square’s character and the building it replaced while giving the community a state-of-the-art jail, courtroom, and Sheriff’s Office.

To learn more about our justice projects, click here.

Posted on November 12, 2020
Category: Featured Projects

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