Sheriff's office to get way more room

A worker is busy here as a project remains ongoing to remodel parts of the Garvin County Courthouse's first floor annex. The renovations will allow for an expansion of the sheriff's office. (PV Democrat photo)

Work is moving along at a nice clip as parts of Garvin County’s courthouse are being remodeled to allow the sheriff’s office to spread out with more room.

What started out a couple of years ago as a “wish list” to increase jail capacity is instead today turning into a remodeling project that when finished will give the sheriff’s department more office space.

Recently sworn into his first full term in office, Sheriff Jim Mullett says the ongoing renovations will result in more room for things like offices and places to store evidence.

On the surface it may not sound like a big deal, but Mullett stresses the project is a huge positive for his entire staff.

“I’m excited about it. I think we’re all excited about the remodel,” Mullett tells the PV Democrat.

“It will spread us out and give us more room to work. Right now it’s cramped. We’re elbow to elbow.”

The space being renovated on the first floor the courthouse annex used to be the home of the district attorney and assessor offices. Both have since moved to a new second floor right above it as the space was given to the sheriff’s department.

In the latter stages of the former sheriff’s tenure, Larry Rhodes, the goal was to increase the jail’s capacity from the current range in the 70’s to well over 100.

That plan was later determined to be impractical because the space vacated is separate and well away from the jail on the opposite side of the annex.

“Nothing will happen with the jail, but every other part of the office will be able to spread out,” Mullett said. “Every part of the office will be used.

“The big office that’s now the squad room will be gutted out and we’ll put evidence in there. We’ll have another area that will be our property room.

“This will be a great addition that will boost morale for everyone in the office.”

A couple of offices in the current sheriff’s office have already been converted into a place for nurses to work when providing medical care on site 12 hours a day.

“I want to thank the commissioners for having this vision for us.”

A second part of the renovation project actually is centered on giving more space to the court clerk’s office.

Although in the early stages, the idea is to remodel a small office area on the east side of the courthouse’s ground floor. Currently that space is being used as a storage area for the sheriff’s office.

Plans call for the area to eventually be renovated to create enough office space for two or three employees from the court clerk’s office as way to safely spread staff out allowing better social distancing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Once this second renovation is complete the office is expected to be used for court filings in civil matters.

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