ST. CLOUD -- Work on remodeling the Stearns County Law Enforcement Center is expected to begin in January after commissioners approved the bids today.

Assistant to the Administrator Stephen Hammes says most of the work involves the jail.

Hammes says they will move the female population down to the first floor where the St. Cloud Police Department used to be housed.  They'll also add about a dozen secure beds to accommodate a growing female inmate population.

Hammes says they will also cut down on the number of work-release beds because most offenders use electronic home monitoring. He says they currently have 60 beds, but only use about a dozen.  That will allow the county to redesign the booking area and make it a safer and more streamlined operation.

The $5.1-million project is part of Stearns County's capital improvement plan and will take about a year to complete.