Built in 1875, the existing Houston County Jail was the oldest operating jail in Minnesota. In the 135 intervening years the inmate population had increased significantly, security, technology and Department of Corrections regulations had changed. In response to current needs and technology the County hired Klein McCarthy Architects to assist with the master planning, programming, design and construction administration of a new jail facility.
After much planning, the new jail was located within the original 1850 courthouse square in downtown Caledonia, MN adjacent to other county departments.
The jail provides 6 housing units, totaling 83 beds. Centralized podular design with direct sight lines from central control provides the required separation for inmate classification and supervision control. Central control / dispatch is also located to provide service directly to a public lobby. The housing and booking cells were constructed with steel cell modular construction. The steel cells were delivered to the site preassembled to help reduce construction time. Location of county courts on the second floor of the complex allowed for direct secured inmate access to courtrooms and hearing rooms.
The exterior design and materials reflects the classical proportions and relationships of the surrounding buildings. Landscape planters and screening was added to maintain the open green plaza space in the center of the complex while also respecting the neighborhood qualities and Veterans Memorial.