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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

$1.1 million renovations planned for county jail elevators

Workers from a Spokane Valley company will renovate four elevators at the aging Spokane County Jail during the next several months at a cost of $1.1 million.

“We want to make sure that we’ve brought the elevators up to current code,” said Ron Oscarson, facilities director for the county. “We want them to last 25, 30 years.”

The elevators haven’t been overhauled since the jail opened in 1986, Oscarson said. Schindler Elevator Corp., a Spokane Valley division of a nationwide company, submitted the lowest of three bids to repair the elevators’ motors, controls and amenities at a total cost of about $1.1 million. The county will foot $960,000 of that cost, almost 90 percent, while other governments that use the jail’s services will pay the rest.

Sgt. Darren Lehman with County Corrections called the elevators the “lifeline” of the jail, enabling the delivery of food and medicine, as well as being the main source of transport for inmates to court dates.

Oscarson said two of the jail’s elevators are used primarily by the public, while the other two elevators in the secure section of the 11-story structure are used exclusively by jail staff and inmates. The public elevators will be upgraded first in the coming months, with the two elevators for inmate transport to follow.

Following the elevator renovations, the county will work to bring more floors of the jail into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and upgrade the jail’s kitchen, Oscarson said.

The county budgeted $35 million this year for detention services, which includes costs at the Geiger Corrections Center in Airway Heights.

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