The Criminal: Gary Welch
The Crime: HVAC Design
The Sentence: 72 Hours of hard time at the Marin County Jail
- The ironic “Welcome” sign at Marin County Jail
When you pass through the security entrance and into the jail for the first time you can’t help but feel a tightness in our stomach. The “jail house odor”, a mixture of cleaning chemicals, sweat and god knows what else, hits you right away. The steel doors and concrete walls and roof provide anything but a welcoming experience. The entrance sign says, “Welcome to Marin Jail” but I have to think this was created by someone with a sick sense of humor. No one wants to be “welcomed” here.
After reviewing the shutdown issue with the facility staff and the sheriffs department that manages the facility, a plan of attack was developed. The facility and staff could manage without a ventilation and air conditioning system for a 72 hour period over a single weekend.15000 Inc. was engaged by the County of Marin Public Works Department to tackle a challenging task. Design the replacement of an existing 25,000 CFM air handler serving the jail. Of course, since its a jail, it cannot be shutdown.
Based on this, the design and constructability plans were developed to achieve this tight time frame.
- The rooftop air handler. You can just see the iconic spire of the Marin Civic Center in the background.
Doing construction inside a jail is a serious security risk for the jail. Everyone requires background checks and no movement can occur without an escort.
Planning and staging will be the key to a successful project. The 72 hour time period will occur over a weekend in October. I’ve committed to be onsite for the majority of the time to help make on-the-spot decisions when problems occur.
For all involved, it will be 72 hours of hard time at the Marin County Jail.
Stay tuned for future updates.