Architect makes presentation on town building in Brownstown



The layout of the new location for the county seat’s town hall and police department recently was presented to officials.

During its next meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at Brownstown Town Hall, the town council will finalize plans so renovation work can begin.

In early January, the council agreed to hire David W. Correll Architect LLC of Seymour as the engineering firm for the project.

Through the main entrance of the building at 116 E. Cross St., people will see offices for the clerk-treasurer and deputy clerk-treasurer to the right and a meeting area to the left. All town meetings will be conducted in that area, and there are two Americans with Disability Act-compliant restrooms for the public to use.

One of the main reasons for the town purchasing the former Jackson County Banner building is the current town hall facility at 200 W. Walnut St., built in 1945, is not ADA compliant.

Just past the restrooms will be a secure door to keep people from entering the police department. If people need police after the town hall is closed, there will be a phone in the vestibule for them to be connected to a dispatcher at the county jail.

The police department will have space for eight cubicles and separate offices for the chief, assistant chief, school resource officer and detective. There also will be an interview room, a mechanical room, and men’s and women’s locker rooms with restrooms.

Then in the back of the building will be two garage bays. The larger bay will be big enough to fit two cars and with room for storage. If no cars are parked in there, it also could be used for meetings or training sessions.

The other garage will allow police to pull in a vehicle to inspect for evidence, which Chief Tom Hanner said will be beneficial.

“We have had times where we’ve had vehicles at the same time the county does, and then we’ll call Seymour, ‘Do you have a bay we can use?’” he said.

In the back part of that bay will be an evidence room, which will only be accessible by the department’s detective, Jac Sanders. He said he is working with an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer who is a certified evidence technician for the state to ensure Brownstown’s evidence room is correctly set up.

Sanders said it has to have a freezer and a refrigerator to be able to store certain pieces of evidence that need to be at a cold temperature.

Also, the Department of Homeland Security requires two secured access points to enter the room, either a key with a keypad or two sets of locks. If there’s an exterior door that goes into that bay, it needs the same level of security, Sanders said.

Security cameras are required to be pointed toward the entry doors, too.

“If you store evidence in the building and you don’t have a camera on (the doors), it’s going to be a nightmare for you,” Sanders said. “You have to have that. That is a Homeland Security requirement.”

Since the budget for the renovation project will be tight, Correll said he suggests only having ceilings in the building’s offices and restrooms. The other areas would be sprayed with insulation and painted and have ductwork exposed and hanging lights.

Nearly all of the existing walls in the building will be torn out and rebuilt.

Correll said the town will be pushing $200,000 worth of work. Putting up walls and drywall, floor coverings, ceilings and light fixtures will be the most costly work.

“It’s just a matter of picking the right ones out and getting some people that want to do the work,” he said.

Plumbing won’t be cheap, either, and there will be wiring and heating, ventilation and air conditioning work involved. A new roof also may be needed.

Once the plans are finalized, the council will work with Correll to create a bid package and select a contractor to do the work.

The hope is to begin construction in the spring.

The town plans to sell the building that currently houses the town hall, police department and street department. Officials are seeking bids to build a new structure for the street department near the wastewater department on the far west side of town.

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