A new Operations Center for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is now in the design phase, with a site plan showing a main two-story building of about 50,000 square feet, plus a one-story sally port and several areas set aside for future expansion and future parking expansion.
“The site plan has been completed, and they’re finishing up on the design factors,” County Administrator Jerry Cameron said. “We are hopefully, right after the first of the year, going to begin construction, and hopefully it will be finished within a year.”
The county now has a contract-at-risk with a construction company for the work, he said.
“They are doing some value engineering with the architect to make sure that they get the most cost effective design, in other words the cheapest per square foot,” Cameron said. “So he [Sheriff Rick Staly] is dropping off some of the architectural niceties that you ordinarily would see in a public building because he wants to get square footage rather than glitz.”
The new Operations Center will be on Commerce Parkway, replacing an Operations Center on State Road 100 that the sheriff and his staff evacuated in June 2018 after employees began falling ill, and testing turned up mold.
That land had been previously been a hospital site and then sat vacant for years before the county purchased it for $1.23 million in 2013 and renovated it for the sheriff’s use. The county sold it for $766,700 in August.
In the meantime, Sheriff’s Office employees have been operating out of the jail administrative building and the county courthouse — an arrangement that both Sheriff Rick Staly and Clerk of Court Tom Bexley have said cramps their operations.
The county is also preparing a Palm Coast substation for the sheriff in the former Wachovia building on Palm Coast Parkway. That building should be ready by January 2021, Cameron said.
The new Operations Center will sit on land the county had originally planned to use for a library. The county's current plan is to purchase for the library a parcel across the street that's currently owned by the First Baptist Church of Bunnell. The county is in negotiations with the church for the land and anticipates a closing within about two months, Cameron said.