The four-phased expansion of the Benton County Justice Center in Kennewick, Washington included a 69,000 SF addition to the courts facility and a 109,000 SF addition to the jail and sheriff ’s offices, along with the renovation of the existing 106,000 SF complex. Originally completed in 1984, the jail’s population had more than doubled, along with operational demands, prompting the Benton County Board of Commissioners to initiate expansion plans in 1997. The jail expansion provides a three-story building that connects to the existing jail via a skybridge. Each floor is approximately 32,250 SF, the first floor houses jail administration, sallyport and booking. The second and third floors are additional jail space. Renovation included the first floor jail, vehicle sallyport and Sheriff ’s offices. The court expansion included a 66,000 SF two-story building. Half of the first floor was completed and the other half was for left unfinished for future courtrooms. Half of the second story was completed for office space and archival storage.

The work was performed while the existing Jail and Court facilities were fully occupied. Therefore, maintaining existing security while constructing the new facilities was extremely important. This required an extreme amount of coordination with existing security systems and security personnel and subcontractors. The coordination of 29 subcontractors was very important and included many specialized systems, such as: security door controls, alarms, closed circuit television surveillance, radio communication with repeaters throughout the facility and low voltage intrusion detection and access control systems.

The exterior construction provided a ballistically hardened facility including a double wall system with highly reinforced exterior concrete, masonry walls and bullet proof glazing. Security fencing was provided throughout the facility including: perimeter fencing, sallyports, holding pens, rubber rooms and interior security fencing to hold prisoners and prevent access to controlled facilities. Automatically controlled security jail doors were installed throughout the prison and intrusion detection with access control card reader devices were also installed. Tamper proof fasteners were used throughout the jail. A new highly sophisticated
security control room was provided which also included complete closed circuit television surveillance of the entire facility.