Sheriff's Office renovations considered by commissioners

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Security and space upgrades may be in the near future for the Osceola County Sheriff's Office building, which hasn't been changed since the 1960s.

Undersheriff Justin Halladay addressed the Osceola County Commission at a Feb. 4 meeting and discussed an idea he had regarding renovating the front part of the department building, which faces Upton Avenue. The changes, he said, would allow for additional space inside the front office.

His ideas include extending the front wall out 300 feet, increasing the size of the lobby, adding a public bathroom and creating a way for the building to be handicap accessible. With the extra space, the offices could be realigned, creating a spot for a conference room.

Besides accessibility for staff and officers, Halladay also wants the building to be secure and protected in case danger occurs.

"The way it looks now is also a security issue," Halladay said. "We need to make it so when an individual comes in they feel safe and our staff feels safe, because it is safe."

To increase safety, adding a glass barrier between staff and visitors and having the lobby door enclosed would be ideal, he said.

Although he said the plans are not a perfect solution, Halladay asked the board of commissioners for permission to explore the possibility of building upgrades, which includes issuing a request for proposal and looking into options for an architect or consultant to head the project.

Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to allow Halladay to pursue the options desired.