SWEETWATER COUNTY – The new Sweetwater County Justice Center will take a big step forward as officials will gather to break ground at the Sweetwater County Detention Center.
On Wednesday at 10 a.m., a groundbreaking ceremony will take place for the new Sweetwater County Justice Center. At the Tuesday morning Sweetwater County Commission meeting, Chairman Wally Johnson thanked everyone involved.
Several times through this process, Johnson has said this project is a major project, and like the Sweetwater County Health and Human Service Building in downtown Rock Springs, will define this commission.
“This is going to be a real showcase for the state of Wyoming,” Johnson said. “We have to do it right.”
After the Wednesday ceremony, the construction teams will start to mobilize on May 9. A pre-construction meeting is set for May 12. If everything stays on schedule, the center should open in the summer of 2018.
The project comes after the state mandated counties to improve courthouse safety. Along with this, finding more space for judges has also been a high priority of the county. The Sweetwater County Commissioners started looking at options and set up a committee made up of judges, lawyers and other players to help them in the process.
Options including remodeling the current district court offices, building a new building to house both district and circuit courts or to handle the circuit court issues first. The committee felt expanding on the current detention center site and building a new home for both the Rock Springs and Green River Circuit Courts was the best option. The commission agreed.
Along with the new circuit courtrooms, there will be offices for both the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office. Additions to help the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office are also planned.
While money has been obtained for the project, a portion of the $17 million cost will come out of budget reserves.