New jail designs presented at county commissioners meeting


By Jessica Johnston, Reporter

Shremshock Architects met with the Muskingum County Commissioners and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz to present building layout plans for the proposed, new jail.

The group met Monday morning to hear from the representatives of Shremshock Architects and Engineers, Rick Axline and Daniel Imlay. Axline presented a building layout that was designed for another county with a similar population but would apply the design to Muskingum County’s potential jail.

“It’s not an easy one (process) but we can make it easy for them,” Axline, the Principal-in-Charge of the criminal justice and municipal studio at Shermshock, said.

The structure can be built to have 448 beds for only Muskingum County’s use. The same design can also be adapted and added to in order to expand the facility into a 604-bed jail to encompass Guernsey County’s jail needs as well.

The proposed design includes many “critical spaces” to include in new jails like psychological evaluation spaces and inmate services areas, Axline said.

Shermshock has designed 15 to 20 jails within Ohio. The design for the jail is a larger scale facility with the same structural layout as the jail in Meigs County.

The facility allows for more security with less staff. The 448-bed facility requires monitoring by seven staff members at all times. The 604-bed facility requires nine staff members at all times.

Muskingum County’s jail currently employs seven staff members, so no staff will need to be added unless the 604-bed facility is built. There was a discussion among the commissioners and Lutz to bring over Guernsey County jail staff to account for the two open positions if the 604-bed facility was built.

“It’s unique, the design, in that it requires only seven people per shift to operate it,” Axline said. “And that has been made possible by clear sight lines and limiting the inmate movement within the facility.”

The estimated cost for the 448-bed facility is projected to cost approximately $37.9 million. The estimated cost for the expanded 604-bed facility is projected to cost approximately $46.3 million.

The plans have not been approved at the time of publication and funding for the single-county use jail or the dual-county use jail has not been decided upon.