Sherburne County, Elk River, MN
Jail Expansion; and Jail/Courts Addition
and Remodeling

Sherburne County, Minnesota is experiencing some of the highest population growth in the Upper Midwest. To meet this growth, Sherburne County government was in need of new facilities. EEA was selected to provide electrical, mechanical, and technology communications for a new multi-phase government and jail facility. The project has several unique state-of-the-art engineered systems not found in other area government centers.

The project has the first jail video visitation system in the State of Minnesota. Video visitation systems allow inmates and visitors to conduct their visit through a video conference system instead of a traditional “through the glass” arrangement. The video conference system simplifies the visitation process as inmates stay in the dayrooms. The public remains outside the jail area, and clerical staff can administer visits typically without involving corrections officers. The system also has the potential to be expanded for arraignment, telemedicine, and remote visitation applications.

Also unique to this project is Courtroom 1 because of the voice, video, and data technology available to all parties addressing the court. In addition to the typical sound reinforcement systems found in most courtrooms, the judge, attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants, and jury will be linked by video displays throughout the courtroom. An evidence presentation cart equipped with computer input, document camera, VCR, DVD, audio deck and touch screen controls will allow presentation of computer video, live or prerecorded testimony by attorneys with redundant control and additional functions from a touch screen located at the judges position. Display of real time court reporting is also possible as well as dialup voice teleconferencing to remote sites. Controlled two-way video between the courtroom and the adjacent jury deliberation room has also been designed into the system.

The voice, video, and data capabilities found in this courtroom are designed to help facilitate and enhance the trial process by providing all legal participants with effective means to uncover, present, and display case related evidence and testimony.

Almost every basic building system of the existing building was expanded or upgraded. The mechanical engineering features combining three separate boiler systems and a new boiler, together in a common loop to provide redundancy and efficiency by incorporating a primary/secondary piping system. New chillers were added for air conditioning of the new additions, the existing building energy management system was upgraded and installed facility wide. The entire building fire alarm system was up-graded, additional electrical service and generator were installed to power the building additions. The jail security system was upgraded from a simple antiquated push button system to a state of the art touch screen system which integrates door control, intercom system and video camera system into a single package.