ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County is studying space needs for its criminal justice system as they look to future needs and population shifts.

Wold Architects and Engineers presented the county board with a needs and gap analysis. It looked at the county's future space needs for its Courts Facilities, Jail and Law Enforcement Center.

Wold Architects looked at four scenarios and the costs associated with them over a 25 year span.

The first scenario is your basic "do nothing" approach and would utilize the existing space with some remodeling and additional space rental if needed. It is the most cost effective of the scenarios but not by much at an estimated cost of $1.25-billion over 25 years.

Scenario two would cost an estimated $1.32-billion and would include buying the block to the west to make additions to the LEC and Courts Facilities buildings.

Scenario three would initially cost the most but would provide for the second lowest operational costs and be most staff efficient. That scenario would be to demolish existing Courts Facilities building add lots to the west and north where the Post Office currently sits and build a new facility.

Finally, scenario four would cost $1.32-billion and would be the only option that removes the facilities out of downtown St. Cloud. One contiguous building would be built on a 20-acre site creating a justice system complex.

The county board will dig further into the options after the first of the year.