Jail and justice center on target for July completion

Published 7:14 am Wednesday, February 10, 2010

As spring and summer weather are slowly approaching, construction on the Mower County Jail and Justice Center is steadily nearing a completion date for mid- to late summer.

Mower County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said the project is about 65 percent complete with construction on schedule to be completed by the end of July.

The Mower County Board of Commissioners approved more than $1 million in progress payments for the jail and justice center project Tuesday. These regular payments to the contracted companies working on the facility are done periodically throughout the construction process.

While construction on the jail and justice center will likely be completed in late July, the new building likely won’t be open until October, Oscarson said. The date of the move will depend on when all the jailers are fully trained to operate the jail.

Another concern is moving the courts from the Mower County Government Center across the street to the jail and justice center.

Wabasha County closed their court system for a week when its move took place, Oscarson said. County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said that week could only be open for emergency court proceedings.

“Everything is computer based now, so all the computers have to be up. They have to be working. Everything has to be over there,” Nelsen said.

Most of the outside work is completed, and construction has focused on the interior of the building over the winter. Work on the east parking lot and sidewalks will be done during the spring and summer, Oscarson said.