Chatham County Detention Center Campus Renovation & Expansion, Savannah, GA
Before it’s expansion in 2013, the Chatham County Detention Center had a capacity of 1,224 beds and was dealing with conditions of severe overcrowding. To help resolve these issues, L.R. Kimball was appointed the role of Architect of Record in association with local architectural and engineering firms to develop a two phase plan for the expansion and renovation of the Detention Center and the Sheriff’s Office.
Working with staff representing the various operating components of the Detention Center and the Sheriff’s Office, a two-phase plan evolved. Phase I included inmate housing for an additional 1,136 beds bringing the total capacity of the Detention Center to 2,360 beds with a build out capacity to 3,896. It became necessary to expand the service components to support the build out capacity. Support components included intake, kitchen, laundry, warehouse, maintenance, programs, medical services, facility administration, and sheriff’s office. This phase also included upgrades to the site infrastructure and the redesign of the perimeter fence.
Among the innovations in the design, the concept of video visitation was utilized. An integral part of this approach was the design and construction of a separate building on the campus but outside the security perimeter. With visitors coming to a separate building, the introduction of contraband to this detention center was reduced as was the need for additional staff.
Another innovation was the design of windowless cells with a maintenance chase behind the rear wall of each cell eliminating the need for maintenance staff to enter the housing unit. This design also encourages inmates to spend more time in the dayroom that receives an abundance of natural daylight thus enhancing the effective supervision of inmates. Phase I of this project has achieved LEED® certification.
Phase II of the process in planning and design involved schematic design phase documentation of plans for additional housing units for the Detention Center’s build-out capacity of 3,896 beds.
The L.R. Kimball team also designed interior renovations of the existing Unit-5 Building, existing multi-purpose room, existing K-9 building as well as the new K-9 building, which was recently completed.
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