SPARTA — The design and floor plan for a new Monroe County Justice Center was approved Wednesday by the Monroe County Board.

The board voted 20 to 3, with Supervisor Mary Cook absent, to approve the plan presented by the Louis Berger Group.

 Supervisors Dan Olson, Dale Greeno and Bob Retzlaff voted against the plan.

The plan includes office space for several county departments, including clerk of courts and child support services, as well as 180 beds in the jail.

The jail will be laid out in a semi-circle, with a control center that will allow jail staff to monitor inmates at all times.

The Huber facility will be adjacent, but separate, from the general population jail. There will be room for 70 inmates with Huber privileges, and the jail will have the option to turn 35 of those 70 cells in general population cells if necessary.

Dave Robillard of Louis Berger Group said the building will be constructed in two halves. The jail and connecting area will be built first and be completely operational before work on the second half the building, which will be located where the current jail sits, begins.

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The courtrooms will be on the second floor, connected by a grand corridor. Clerk of courts, corporate counsel and the child support department also will be on the second floor.

There will be locked doors separating the hallway leading to jury rooms and judges’ chambers and the grand corridor.

“There’s never a cross pattern between the general public, inmates or the judges,” Robillard said.

Olson said he was concerned because the jail design separates the 110 general population and 70 Huber cells, calling for a control center for each group.

“I can’t vote for this then, because it’s going to require an extra individual to baby-sit 10 to 12 people in that Huber facility just to utilize it,” Olson said.

Supervisor Adam Hayden said the money saved from housing inmates within the county, rather than in neighboring counties, would cover the expense of more jail staff.

The county will purchase the property necessary for the project. Jail construction will begin next spring.

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