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Old Phoenix jail to house Maricopa County Attorney’s Office

An artist's rendering of the renovated Madison Street Jail. (Maricopa County Photo)

PHOENIX — Next spring, crews will demolish the interior of the old Madison Street Jail in downtown Phoenix.

The exterior of the building will remain, with some new features here and there. But the inside of the building will be completely renovated to make way for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

It’s not a full-scale demolition. Rather, the interior demolition planned to start next year is more like a surgery.

“We’re doing surgery on a building, but it’s not unheard of,” said Fields Moseley, communications director for Maricopa County.

“You’re leaving the floors in place and the ceilings in place and the columns, of course. You have to work around those things and not cause damage to those critical parts of the structure while you’re doing that demolition inside.”

The cost to repurpose the building is estimated at up to $65 million. Moseley said this move will benefit the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, since the staff currently operates out of multiple locations.

“They’re kind of all over the map, surrounding the court complex,” Moseley said. “This will consolidate most of those operations.”

The jail has been empty for over 10 years and Moseley said it no longer complies with corrections standards. The county board of supervisors decided it was better to renovate the interior and let the building stand as opposed to tearing the whole thing down.

“The building is made of concrete, so the bones of the building are in great condition,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman said.

“It makes sense to tear out the inside instead of paying about $9 million to demolish it.”

The 230,000-square-foot building should be completed around spring 2019.

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