published Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Catoosa sheriff plans for new buildings

by Beverly Carroll

RINGGOLD, Ga. — An architect is being chosen for a new building to link Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers’ administrative offices and the jail on U.S. Highway 41, a sheriff’s detective said.

“We have just received proposals from architects, so we will be interviewing firms,” Maj. Gary Sisk said. “We are doing our best to keep the cost under $500,000, but we will know more once the architect is selected.”

Sheriff Summers said the department needs a 4,800-square-foot building between his offices and the jail, which cost $8.9 million when it was built in 2002.

The addition will be paid for with money generated by housing out-of-area inmates in the 248-bed jail.

The addition will add needed office space and a training area, Maj. Sisk said.

“We hope to add about 17 new offices, a training room and a new records area,” he said. “We have about 52 uniformed patrol officers; right now they all share one common area with their mailboxes, a couple of phones and computers, and that’s where they take reports.”

The jail has about 45 employees, and the sheriff’s office holds about 25 people.

County Commissioner Ken Marks said he supports the project.

“It is not extra money the county will spend, and it is needed,” he said. “Phil has found a way to fund it, and if he thinks it’s good for Catoosa County, I’m 100 percent behind it. It’s a safety issue. People often go in one building and find that they need to be in the other one.”

The architect will draw a design, and the county will seek bids. Sheriff Summers said he will update commissioners on the costs and progress of the building.

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