LA VISTA, Neb. – Tuesday marked the construction start of the Washington County Justice Center when The Weitz Company broke ground on the $24.5 million project in Blair, Neb.
Government officials from the county and sheriff’s department were on hand with Weitz and project designer Prochaska & Associates to commemorate the milestone. The ceremonial event included speeches from Washington County Sheriff’s Department Captain Robert Bellamy and Washington County Board Member and Jail Construction Committee Chair Jay Anderson.
“We are turning the page and starting to move in a new direction. A direction that will provide for our future needs,” Bellamy said. “All the shortcomings of the current facility will be addressed in the new facility – with an emphasis on safety and security for the community, the inmates and, most importantly, the staff.”
In May, Washington County voters approved a bond issue to fund the new justice center, which will include a 120-bed jail, a new sheriff’s office, county courtroom and expanded county attorney offices. Construction will be executed in phases. The new sheriff’s office and courtrooms will be done at the same time as the new jail. When those portions are complete, inmates will be moved to the new facility while renovations are made to the former sheriff’s office and jail.
“We have recognized how important the new justice center is to the county and have been very diligent to offer ideas and opportunities to push its construction forward in the most efficient manner possible,” said The Weitz Company Vice President and General Manager Brian Mahlendorf.