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Sheriffs office may head to Sunnybrook

With at least 10 years until it can move into a new facility on the Red Soils Campus in Oregon City and with a 'workspace crisis' at its current facilities, the sheriff's office has proposed moving into a facility on Sunnybrook Road later this year.

The sheriff's office currently has 337 employees working out of eight buildings, according to Capt. Dave O'Shaughnessy.

'These facilities are so few we're literally housing employees in closets and storage facilities,' he said. 'We've hired a parcel carrier to transport memoranda between our different facilities every day.'

In a report, the sheriff's office said it currently leases three of its buildings for a total of $133,015 per year, but all of those leases will expire over the next three years. A study commissioned by the county also showed that the sheriff's office would likely grow by 15 percent over the next five years, requiring about 70,000 square feet of space. The Sunnybrook facility is 73,000 square feet.

The sheriff's office will eventually have a facility at the Red Soils Campus, but that is at least 10 years away, the report says.

County commissioners, who met with sheriff's office personnel last week to discuss the issue, said they had planned to sell the Sunnybrook facility when the operations currently housed there move to the new Red Soils building later this year.

The county was looking to get $5 million to $7 million for the building.

'We recognize that you have a new building going in next door, you've been gracious in helping build a new jail, and those are things that are going to take some time,' said Sheriff Craig Roberts.

O'Shaughnessy said the move would be cost efficient, though. He said leasing from private landlords can cost more than $10 per square foot, but if the county leased the building to the sheriff's office it would cost between $6.84 and $9.58 per square foot.

'Construction costs are going to increase and it's very difficult for the sheriff's office to get a new building,' O'Shaughnessy said. 'We're going to have to lease space.'

Although Commission Chair Lynn Peterson questioned the financial impacts of the proposal, the county said the presentation was a good starting point to discuss the issue further.

'I think it's a great start to the conversation,' said County Administrator John Mantay. 'We won't vacate Sunnybrook until at least October of this year. I think this is a good primer discussion.'