Mark Taylor
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The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office dedicated its newly renovated Central Booking Facility on July 20.
The facility recently underwent an 18-month, $27.3 million facelift.
The first floor of the former Johnson County Adult Detention Center was expanded from 26,000 square feet to 61,000 square feet.
Sheriffs officials say the building has a larger booking capacity and incorporates a process that will make bookings more time efficient.
That will allow officers to spend less time in the booking lounge and more time patrolling the streets.
“There is much better flow of movement through the facility,” said Tom Erickson, public information officer for the sheriff’s office. “The flow is better because it is larger. We used to be able to house 34 inmates in the booking lounge. If you had 40, you had to move them just to bring in the next group. Now we have the ability to house 140 inmates in that area. It allows us much more flexibility.”
The larger booking lounge also allowed the sheriff’s office to designate separate areas for male and female inmates.
Before, males and females could not be let out of holding cells at the same time.
“Now (the booking lounge) is split into two halves — one half for men and one half for women,” Erickson said.
The most notable change is the building’s exterior.
The former brick and limestone facade was recovered with a zinc rain screen and a high efficiency insulation system.
“The brick veneer — which has been there from the beginning — has been spray foamed,” Erickson said.  “Before we had 1 inch of insulation we now have about 4 inches.  Everything is sealed, and the building has a new high efficiency heating and cooling system.”
More than 75 percent of the original building’s structure, infrastructure and mechanical, electrical and plumbing materials were reused in the renovation.
Sheriff’s officials expect the building to be approved for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the United States Green Building Council.
The LEED certification is designated for environmentally friendly, energy efficient and sustainable buildings.
All three floors of the housing part of the jail were repainted and fitted with HVAC upgrades.
Operations will begin in August.
The renovation was paid for with a quarter-cent public safety sales tax passed by voters in 2008.
Other projects being funded with the public safety sales tax include a new crime lab, a new juvenile services complex and jail expansion.