$6.8 million construction project continues at Sedgwick County Jail


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A gaping hole is the last thing you would want to see at a jail.

That’s what you will currently find at the old entrance of the Sedgwick County Detention Center.

It is all part of a $6.8 million renovation and expansion.

KSN’s Tiffany Lane got an inside look on Monday.

“It sounded like someone was shooting a cannon off out here in the parking lot,” said Col. Richard Powell, while he was working in his office earlier in the day. “And, about every 30 seconds the entire building was shaking.”

There are some distractions at the jail, distractions that are expected to linger over the next six months.

It is a small price to pay for the end result, according to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

“This project will be able to bring all of our administrative services on the third floor of the courthouse,” said Capt. Jared Schechter. “Also, our professional standards section will be brought over here, and our investigations section on the second floor of the courthouse will be brought over.”

For now, the jail is a little crammed. Nearly, 2,400 square feet is being added and about 3,400 square feet of unused space is being renovated.

“We’re having to use a temporary entrance,” said Schechter. “And, a temporary lobby.”

So, the space shared by deputies, and the public isn’t as cozy at the moment.

“It’s loud. It’s cramped,” said Schechter.

Members of the sheriff’s office say all of this construction will be worth it once the job is completed in February.

“Well, I think just the delays if nothing else getting paperwork flow between the building sometimes and where to have a meeting and which building will it be in,” said Powell.

The sheriff’s office says it will also free up space at the courthouse where the county district attorney’s office will be able to expand.

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