Clay County, IA – Detention Center and Sheriff’s Office

Clay County Detention Center Interior

Location: Spencer, Iowa
Year Completed: 2013
Size: 16,900 SF | 28-Beds
Awards and Publications: Design Cost Data Magazine – January/February 2014 Edition

HMN Architects teamed with Clay County on a 28-bed detention center and sheriff’s office. This new building is on the site of the existing sheriff’s office. Merging the jail with the sheriff’s office meant that there were a variety of stakeholders involved in the design process. Recognizing the varied needs of staff and incorporating them into the design proved challenging, but our team listened to the client and was able to include their requests within the budget. By meeting with the sheriff, chief deputy, investigator, jail administrator, and board of supervisors, HMN designed a facility that worked for all parties involved.

The new facility has 20 general population beds with another six dedicated to work release and two for medical or administrative segregation. The new booking area has six holding cells and gives the county a larger capacity for holding. Using an indirect, single post supervision style, the jail has five dayrooms. The space also includes a warming kitchen, laundry and an indoor and outdoor exercise yard.

There are a few design features requested by the county that are unique to a jail of this size. The large evidence storage has been designed to accommodate the county’s needs and the evidence processing area has pass-through lockers. It was important to the sheriff to provide a squad room with individual work spaces for road patrol, which was incorporated into the design. To accommodate the colder climate, the vehicular sallyport allows for indoor parking. The facility also has a large training and meeting space that will be used by the community as well as the law enforcement. This area can also double as an emergency operations center with a concrete lid and masonry walls.

In terms of the exterior design, the administration area uses fiber reinforced concrete skin over metal studs with a mixture of flat and low-sloped roofs of standing metal seam. Two colors of sand blasted pre-cast panels were used for the detention area. The team utilized sustainability concepts and geothermal technology with savings from the local utility company.
The HMN team included a local architect with strong ties to the community as a way to promote local involvement.



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