This is one humongous shed 

Barnstable County Sheriff’s inmate William Prickett is working on at Meetinghouse Farm in West Barnstable.  Located just off Exit 5 along Route 6, the farm’s outsized storage facility is attached to a greenhouse -- also seen here – of roughly the same length.  Prickett is part of a supervised, five-inmate crew that will wind up donating about $12,000 in labor (figured at $30/hour) to totally rehab the building’s exterior.  It was in an advanced state of disrepair when the job began.  Work on the 30 by 65 foot structure has included clearing and demolishing debris, reinforcing interior roof trusses, laying a newly shingled exterior roof, and adding new siding and wooden shingles – the kind Prickett is holding here.

A wider shot of  the same “super shed” shows where it’s attached to the greenhouse, the new roof and shingles, and the crew’s work van parked at the back end.  Judith Desrochers, who manages the nonprofit Meetinghouse Farm conservation area with support from the town of Barnstable’s Conservation Commission, said her organization “has developed a positive connection with the Sheriff’s Office.  I can’t say enough abut what they’ve done.  Our fundraising efforts are limited and the inmates have even helped out there.”  Desrochers was referring to a large tent used for a fundraiser held this summer.  It was on loan from the Sheriff’s Office and erected and dismantled after the event by another inmate crew.

Measuring the job  here is inmate Ryan Smith, another member of the supervised crew.  Lt. Joseph Brait, on site but not in picture, has brought the workers to every Cape town at least once this year.  Many municipalities and nonprofits have benefited more than that.  The figures for last year: 21,200 inmate hours, more than $530,000 worth of donated labor, and 157 projects in all.  Plenty of sawing and hammering, priming and painting, scrubbing and raking, erecting and dismantling.  With 2012 drawing to a close, the Sheriff’s Office is anticipating another banner year.  “It’s what we do, one of our calling cards,” said Sheriff James Cummings, who dispatched a crew to the farm nine years ago to replace an interior carrying beam – one still standing today.