Court, jail buildings scrutinized

    Two Fort Wayne businesses and one from Indianapolis will be interviewed next week by four members of a special committee set up to advise the Adams County commissioners about ideas to replace or renovate the building that houses Adams Superior Court and the probation department and also the Adams County Law Enforcement Center, which includes the jail and the sheriff's department.
    At this week's meeting of the commissioners, they accepted the recommendation of the advisory committee to interview the three architectural companies that received the most points in judging by the committee members. The three are:
    • SchenkelShultz of Fort Wayne, which would charge $7,500. The firm, which is more than 50 years old, has worked on more than 200 "justice facilities" nationwide, including an addition and renovation at the Jay County Jail.
    • Kelty Tappy Design of Fort Wayne, which would charge $9,500. KTD was founded in 1999 and its members have worked on more than 70 projects, including a Guantanamo Bay detainee facility in Cuba.
    • RQAW of Indianapolis, which would charge $10,000. RQAW has been in operation since 1954 and has completed more than 150 county, state, and federal correctional projects, plus courthouses and judicial sites.
    Seven firms submitted their qualifications and preliminary views of the proposed project to the advisory committee for consideration. The committee was set up by, and is being led by, the two judges in the county, Frederick A. Schurger of circuit court and Patrick R. Miller of superior court.
    County Attorney Mark Burry said the interviews will be conducted by Commissioner Ed Coil, both judges, and a member of the Adams County Council.
    Burry added that the interviews will cut the number of firms to one, with that one asked to perform a "building study" of the two structures in question, both of which have had problems over the years. The sheriff's office and jail opened in 1980. Superior court and the probation office are in a building that opened in 1905 as the Decatur Public Library and was emptied when the current library opened in 1978.