Construction plan for Dane County jail changes after structural concerns

MADISON, Wis. - A plan to update Dane County's jail facilities has hit another bump in the road.

News 3 confirmed that the $75.2 million plan to build a new jail on top of the Public Safety Building is not possible. Officials are now looking at building an entirely new structure.

Sheriff Dave Mahoney said adding the additional stories could cause the building to tip during “90 mile per hour winds.” County officials now plan to build a new tower behind the Public Safety Building, which is currently a parking lot. The new building will replace the jail at the city-county building as well as the Ferris Huber Center.

“Everything we planned to have in the Public Safety Building we believe we can put in this building,” Mahoney said.

Mahoney said the facility will house the jail and mental health facilities and be about the same square footage as the previous design.

The plan to build at the Public Safety Building was approved by Dane County last year. Under the new plan the jail will open in 2020 instead of 2019. The building is expected to be the same height as the County Courthouse, Mahoney said. 

Dane County officials as well as members of the Sheriff's Department will hold a meeting Wednesday to discuss the updated plan.


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