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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Final design ready for $86.5 million jail in Snohomish County

Seattle Times Snohomish County reporter

Snohomish County Council members got their first look yesterday at the final design for the county's new jail, which has the look of a sleek, big-city office building rather than a place to house inmates.

The new jail, which will be adjacent to the existing jail in downtown Everett, is expected to cost $86.5 million. The jail project is part of a $167 million redevelopment of the county's Everett campus, which will include a new administration building and a 1,200-stall underground parking garage, that will be funded out of the county's existing budget, said Roger Neumaier, office administrator with the Snohomish County Executive's Office.

The new jail will help ease the county's overflow of inmates at the current jail, which houses 400 inmates, with 200 more sleeping in hallways and floors at any given time. With the expansion, there will be room for an additional 640 inmates.

The new jail was designed by Seattle architectural firm NBBJ and will achieve what Everett officials had requested: that the new facility "not look like a jail." Instead, the 120-foot-tall building of reflective glass will blend in with the downtown landscape.

Once the jail opens, two floors in the old jail will be remodeled to house the county's work-release program, which will be relocated during the construction.

County workers are already being shuffled around as crews prepare to begin construction on the new jail. Earlier this month, 150 employees were moved out of two buildings at the existing jail complex that are slated for demolition next month. The new jail and administration building are expected to be completed in fall 2004.

Tina Potterf: 206-464-3316 or tpotterf@seattletimes.com.

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