On Thursday, October 19, 2017, the Commission opened bids for “Phase One” of the new Webster County Justice Center.
Phase One includes a much-needed new Jail, along with a Sheriff’s Office and one Courtroom for criminal proceedings. Eventually, Phase Two envisions more Courtrooms – along with court staff and Prosecutor offices, and other law enforcement related facilities to support them. For the time being, however, the majority of judicial activity will continue to take place in the current Courthouse.
The administrative portion of Phase One wraps around the west side of the new Jail. It resembles the former Robertson Hardware building in style and dimension – but gains valuable square footage by adding 40 feet in width.
The Jail itself is a formidable two story 120’ x 120’ concrete box. The facility is capable of holding 110 beds; 96 in the main (higher security) set of ‘pods’, with an additional 14 lighter security beds in the basement beneath the administrative wing.
The total budget for the project is $18.5 million. The County will fund a portion with of reserve funds saved over the past several years, and will issue $10 million in bonds for the remainder. The Commission intends to pay the debt service for the facility with existing revenues.
The design team is reviewing bid documents and expect to make recommendations on contract awards by November 1. If the process continues to move smoothly, the County expects to break ground in mid-November 2017. It is estimated construction will take 18-24 months to complete.