CNHI/Southeast Iowa

April 11, 2012

Cracks showing on five-year-old law enforcement center

Knoxville — The bricks on the northwest corner of the Marion County Law Enforcement Center are showing several cracks. This is the latest in a series of issues with the building that opened in December 2006. 

The jail was constructed with bond revenues. A total of 6 percent of Marion County voters took part in the bond issue and gave approval to the Board of Supervisors to borrow $5 million for the jail's construction. The former jail was located in the basement of the courthouse, and no longer met the County's needs. Jail inspectors also warned of the basement jail's possible closure due to not meeting standards. The County was spending a great deal of money to house inmates in other facilities. All of these factors played into the decision to build the new law enforcement center. 

Not long after the center opened, leaks in the roof began to be noticed. Though attempts were made to alleviate the problem, there were still reports of leaks as late as last year. 

It was while checking on these roof issues that the cracks in the brick were noticed. Marion County Sheriff Ron Goemaat informed the architects of the building, the Durrant Group, of the issue. Durrant did not respond further until Goemaat raised the issue a second time. An inspector is expected to visit the law enforcement center next week to look into the cracked brick issue. 

Meanwhile, according to an article in the Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19858440?source=rss) Durrant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. It is unknown whether or not this will affect the company's ability to assist in the remedy of the cracked brick issue. 

Goemaat told the Board of Supervisors in a meeting Monday afternoon that there are now issues with the building's sewer system. We will continue to follow this story as it develops. 

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