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Committee suggests outcome for jail
After fruitless search for possible tenants, a committee created to find a new use for what will soon be the former Glynn County Detention Center, will recommend the building be turned into offices for judicial departments.

That will include the District Attorney's office, which could soon outgrow its space in the county courthouse.

County Administrator Alan Ours, present at what was likely the final meeting of the jail reuse committee Tuesday, will convey the recommendation to the county commission's finance committee in August. He will ask that the commission solicit proposals from third parties to perform both a needs and cost assessment for remodeling the jail.

Unless the commission asks for a different recommendation, the reuse committee will disband.

The jail at Reynolds and I streets, Brunswick, will be vacated after a replacement facility under construction on Ross Road in Glynn County is completed, which could be as early as April.

Finding the right organization to take over the jail has not been easy. The reuse committee talked to federal and state agencies, Southeast Georgia Health System, College of Coastal Georgia, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Family and Children Services when looking for someone to take over the building. None was keen on the idea, Ours reported.

"You have to explore all of the options," he said.

Ours suggested remodeling the jail to create a central hub for all judicial offices that would include the Glynn County Courthouse and the former jail.

"It makes a lot of sense to have a one stop shop for those governmental services," Ours said.

He also suggested hiring a company to assess the space needed by the departments and the space available at the jail, as well as the cost to remodel the building. Ours estimated the assessment could cost between $25,000 and $50,000.

Committee member Jeff Kilgore questioned spending money for the assessment when the county administration could evaluate what space is needed on its own.

Committee member Charles Rinkovich and chairman Scott Cown, however, agreed with Ours that getting a clear picture of what is needed will help form a more concise and efficient plan for remodeling.

Kilgore also suggested the move as quickly as possible on how to fund the project, saying that asking for special purpose local option sales tax next year will not be easy.

"It's going to be a very poor environment next year to try and move forward with a SPLOST," Kilgore said.

The new $28 million jail under construction will provide about 40,000 more square feet of space and will house more than 600 inmates.

* Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him at mhall@thebrunswick, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.

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