Design Program: We were presented with the challenge of solving the short term detention needs for Kalamazoo County while making sure that the construction is in line with the intended future build-out of the building to 1,000 beds.
We employed the “Charrette” planning process to bring all of the divergent policy makers, users, county law enforcement agencies, neighbors and stake-holders together in an intensive four day process to determine the correct scope, cost and operations solution for the county. The first solution developed by the Charrette was the master plan for the eventual build-out of the facility to 1,000 beds. The master plan needed to be constructed in phases with the first phase to be aimed at solving all of the short term critical needs of the facility.
The 74,000 square foot design incorporates a new intake and processing area allowing for a smooth operational sequence in the intake, arraignment and the classification process. Adjacent housing units were designed to provide for specialty housing for the mentally ill, sick, and difficult to manage maximum security prisoners. By removing the burden of these specialty functions, the existing housing can better serve the incarceration needs of the County for the next ten to twenty years. Once the facility reaches capacity, the future phases of construction can be accomplished without the need to re-design or remodel the existing facility or phase one housing.