Training center planned behind county jail

The county is preparing to build a new training center that will help sheriff’s deputies keep up with their education requirements, while also providing much-needed storage space for the county.

The building will be about 7,400 square feet and be built behind the Johnson County jail. It will contain large training rooms for the sheriff’s office that also connect to the nearby shooting range, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

Deputies and offers in training will be able to stand inside an open area of the building and practice shooting even during bad weather, Cox said. The building also will have conference rooms for group classes.

The building also will house the county’s voting machines and have additional storage space for the sheriff’s office and jail records. The sheriff has been paying $400 per month to rent storage space in Indianapolis for those records that can’t be discarded, Cox said. The training center also will add space to park specialty vehicles, such as the SWAT van.

The project is expected to cost about $725,000, but the exact amount has not been determined, Commissioner Brian Baird said. The project was included as part of a $1.93 million loan the county borrowed last year, which also is being used for other projects, such as paving, building maintenance and technology equipment upgrades, Baird said.

The county originally had planned to build the training center with a loan that was taken out in 2012, but there wasn’t enough available at the time, Baird said.