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Leading by Example: Blue Earth County Goes “Green” in Its New Justice Center and Jail
National Jail Exchange

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By Jessica Beyer, Blue Earth County Communications Manager & Business Analyst, Mankato, Minnesota, and Connie Clem, Editor, National Jail Exchange, Longmont, Colorado

The Blue Earth County Justice Center and Jail in Mankato, Minnesota, was completed imageand occupied in June 2009. It is a multipurpose facility created to update county services, increase jail capacity, and streamline criminal justice processes for the county. It was also the first “green” public construction project in the south-central part of the state.

The process of envisioning, planning, and constructing the facility took nearly 2 decades of careful consideration by county leaders, community stakeholders, and a multitude of constituents and consultants. Engaging the community in the planning process played a key role in the success of the project.

Blue Earth county sought to ensure environmental stewardship through a facility that saves resources, utilizes fewer taxpayer dollars to operate, and keeps future generations in mind. The end result is an environmentally friendly, safe, operationally efficient, and secure facility that provides a future-oriented solution to the county’s need for jail space, court security, and accessibility for the public. The County led by example by constructing the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facility in south-central Minnesota. It is also the first LEED-certified jail in the state.

This article highlights the very successful process Blue Earth County employed to plan, finance, and build a new jail and justice center that is intended to meet their needs for many years into the future.

Posted Wed, Jun 13 2012 7:23 AM by Susan Powell
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