From a Perspective: The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center
As a project that was completed in the fall of 2021, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center addresses several needs for the public. Not only will this new facility make the community stronger, but it also really helps create better efficiencies.
Inmates deserve social interaction with each other. Every cell in the Fulton County Detention Center can house two inmates, allowing them to have someone to interact with. From a mental well-being standpoint, interior material colors should be as neutral as possible; earth tones, and colors that are warmer. There are colors, for instance red, that should be avoided because of the negative influence on behavior and how one feels in the space. Daylighting is an incredibly important tool. The ACA Standards require daylighting because it can be a calming and reassuring influence. There are skylights in every dayroom at the Fulton County Detention Center, affording inmates opportunities for various recreation and programs, such as construction trade training, GED classes, etc. giving them something to occupy their time. This can contribute to their reintegration into society when their sentence is fulfilled.
Where The Inspiration in The Jail’s Design Originated From
The Fulton County Detention Center is the third installment of its prototype partner. A common misconception about jails is their design reputation. They are perceived as massive solid construction with little to no character. The prototype design selected was looked at from a different perspective where we asked ourselves, ‘what enhancements can we do to the aesthetics of the exterior to make the building more acceptable to the public?’ The answer can be found when you look at the brick and metal panel material with design features that make the building more inviting. All glass entry, a multi-purpose room with clerestory windows, and use of vibrant materials. There are many reasons why we feel we excel in this market, but one that we are particularly proud of is that being a prototype, we can offer savings to our client both financially and through design schedule.
Facility’s Unique Features
The Forensics Center/County Morgue was unique being attached to this type of facility. Having this program as part of the facility that investigators operate out of made a lot of sense from the county’s perspective. It really offers the county a lot of efficiencies.
This project also features a 911 Dispatch Center. This state-of-the-art facility is sized and equipped to provide space to other counties if there was a need. Having dispatch in the same building as county first responders also offers the county some benefits.
What Learning Experiences Were Taken from The Project
Personally, I learned a great deal by working on this project. Probably the most notable is how important having positive relationships are between county, council, end users, architects, and engineers, as well as the construction manager and their contractors. How well everyone works together determines how easy or challenging the project goes. We were very fortunate to have had a county like Fulton County to work with because there was a trust factor established very early on and it set the tone for the duration of this highly successful project.