• LaBella Associates

Schoharie County Jail and Public Safety Building Replacement Provides Efficiency, Flood Protection

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

The challenge of this project was to design a new, 70 cell direct supervision facility on a site with wetlands and hilly terrain. The building utilized the exterior envelope as the maximum security barrier so that this facility has a minimum amount of perimeter security fence. All exterior recreation yards are adjacent to the housing units for staff efficiencies and good visibility.

Because of the efficient size of the facility, and to help with staffing costs, the LaBella teamed worked with the New York State Commission of Correction to provide 3 unique and modern direct supervision housing units in lieu of the typical 4 units that have been constructed around the state. In order to accomplish this, all areas had to be designed with additional “sub-dayrooms” in order to accommodate all of the different population needs of the County. Each housing area features a large mural with matching paint scheme themed to the seasons as a calming and normalizing feature for the inmates.

This project is a replacement facility for the existing facility that was destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Irene with the majority of the work funded through FEMA. Because many other County buildings still remain in the floodplain it was decided that a large multipurpose room would be included in the project and wired with power & data so that it could be utilized to provide continuity of government for multiple departments for temporary use if a flood of that magnitude ever occurred again in the future. In addition, it can also be used for grand jury as needed.

The facility is approximately 58,000 square feet and consists of a new sheriff’s administration office, road patrol, criminal investigations unit, civil and evidence divisions. As a true public safety building, the County also elected to add the probation department and the district attorney’s office to the facility.

This project was designed and managed by LaBella’s in-house architects and engineers. The project also includes a major off-site utility design to bring sewer & water in from the Village of Cobleskill. Additionally, LaBella led MEP commissioning and designed all security systems. The jail meets all new state requirements for air filtering, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project was recently featured in Correctional News. Read the article here.