BOURBON COUNTY, Kan. - The former Bourbon County Sheriff's Office and Jail is getting a second lease on life. County commissioners say by the time work is done, it will drastically change the way you do business with the county.
"This is an F-4 tornado hardened facility," said Lynne Oharah, Bourbon County Commissioner.
Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah says that's just one benefit of moving several of the county offices to the former sheriff's office and jail. Oharah says another big reason for the move is ease of access. At the moment, those doing business with the county clerk or treasurer have to go to the second floor. However, that's set to change.
"The public won't have to come in and walk up stairs or go to the elevator. They can come in the door on the north end of the building where old sheriff's office and corrections were and do most of their business right there," Oharah explained.
Oharah says that will also improve safety in a couple of ways. First, it reduces the risk of someone falling while going up stairs by limiting traffic on the stairs. Second, it creates a more secure area for the court located on the third floor. Oharah says that'll happen by reducing the traffic in the elevators and on the stairs.
"Actually the whole second floor will be used for the county attorney and storage for the court system's records," said Oharah.
Oharah says another big benefit to the county will be cost. By repurposing the former sheriff's office and jail, they're gaining space without the expense of building a brand new facility. That's not the only opportunity the building offers, Oharah says in the future, there may be other ways the building can help either save or even make the county a little money.
"We're really excited about repurposing this jail and what we can do," said Oharah.
Oharah says the goal is to work on the renovations to the facility over the next few weeks, and start moving the first employees in sometime in October.