Calhoun County Land Bank to Begin Demolition of Former County Jail

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MARSHALL, Mich. — On behalf of Calhoun County, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority is planning to demolish the County’s former jail by the end of November. The Board of County Commissioners awarded the project to Bierlein Companies Inc. in September, authorizing the demolition process to move forward. The building was constructed in 1954 and is located behind the Calhoun County Building at 315 W. Green St. in Marshall.

“We’re excited to complete the safe demolition of this building, which is an eyesore in our own backyard,” said Christine Schauer, Calhoun County Treasurer and Chairperson of the Land Bank. “Our goal is to remove this blighted building in a way that minimizes the impact on the surrounding community, and the experience of our Land Bank team has been invaluable on making this happen.”

The structure originally housed the Sheriff’s Office, but most of the operations were transferred to the new Calhoun County Correctional Facility at 185 E. Michigan Ave. in Battle Creek in 1994. Minimal administrative operations continued at the site until 2013, when the building closed completely.

The Land Bank and Calhoun County government are partnering on the demolition. The partnership allows the County to utilize the Land Bank’s considerable expertise in demolition, and to make the overall cost more affordable. Once the demolition is complete, the County will use the space for a much-needed expansion of the County’s parking lot. The expanded parking lot will be more accommodating for the public and will make the building more accessible for families and people with handicaps.

“The Land Bank does a wonderful job of partnering with municipalities, including the County, and this demolition is another great example of that,” said Derek King, Chairperson of the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners and a member of the Land Bank Board. “Navigating the state’s safety laws for a project of this scale is no easy task, and the Land Bank has proven time and again to be an indispensable asset to our county’s revitalization efforts.”

“We appreciate the partnership on this project to remove an obsolete building in our county,” said Kelli Scott, Administrator/Controller. “This project has taken a great deal of collaboration with state and local agencies, and we’re eager for the demolition to take off.”

Crews worked on the building over the summer in preparation for this fall’s demolition. Bierlein Companies will be on-site the week of Oct. 10 and will begin project activities shortly thereafter. Demolition is expected to begin around Oct. 17. Land Bank staff will distribute information to neighbors prior to the demolition, and anyone with questions may contact their office at (269) 781-0777.  The demolition is expected to be completed by the end of November.