Back in 1988, the Olathe North High School Band performed at the dedication of the Olathe Adult Detention Center.
So it was only fitting that the school’s current band returned Friday — nearly 24 years later — to help rededicate the building as the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office central booking facility.
“I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t look like they aged a day,” Undersheriff Kevin Cavanaugh told the people gathered for the ribbon cutting and open house.
The ceremony Friday capped more than 18 months of construction to transform the former adult detention center into a central booking location for those suspected of a crime in Johnson County.
Booking operations at the building, located at the southwest corner of Santa Fe Street and Kansas Avenue, will begin in August.
That’s when law enforcement officials in Johnson County will start bringing their arrestees to the building to be booked. From there, suspects will be released on bond, detained at Central Booking or transferred to the New Century Adult Detention Center.
“The Central Booking facility has been designed and built to provide for the most efficient use of space and manpower to effectively handle the influx of people who have been arrested for various and sundry offenses and to facility the criminal justice process,” said Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning.
Renovation of the former adult detention center began in January 2010. Inmates and jail staff were transferred to the Adult Detention Center at the Fred Allenbrand Criminal Justice Complex at the New Century AirCenter near Gardner.
The Johnson County Commissioners authorized $27.3 million for the renovation project and awarded the contract to JE Dunn Construction Co. to complete the project. Treanor Architects of Kansas City provided design services.
Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, said the renovation turns the building into a state-of-the-art facility.
“The key is to be able to process those who come into our custody efficiently, effectively and then put those officers back on the street as quickly as they can,” he said. “That saves everyone dollars, enhances public safety in our cities for those city officers who bring folks in to be charged.”
More than 16,000 inmates are booked and processed annually by the sheriff’s office.
The expanded and remodeled facility was designed to accommodate projected growth in bookings through 2030.
The new booking lounge was expanded to 80 feet by 50 feet, which is about seven times the size of the old one. The new one has a capacity of about 140 people, compared to 35 people in the old booking area.
Another improvement that will speed the processing of new bookings is an expanded sally port that can accommodate two large inmate transfer buses and multiple police vehicles.
“The sally port is much larger, much more convenient to transporting prisoners in a secure environment as well as offering an opportunity for our police officers in our city to bring their charges in a much more secure environment,” Eilert.
Inmates waiting to transfer or to be released are separated from arriving prisoners.
Additional stations have been added so that necessary medical screenings can be completed within 48 hours in a confidential and secure area.
To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at cronkb.