Behind a cyclone fence that wraps around a city block, and beyond several gravel piles, the Crook County Criminal Justice Center construction is under way.
Tucked between West First and Northwest Second Street and Northwest Beaver and Claypool Street, the construction zone has been alive with activity, all of which is taking place at ground level.
About two weeks ago, a concrete truck was on site, pouring the brace frame footings, to which the steel construction will later get attached, and the elevator pits and pads.
"They are working on the stem walls around the elevators," added Crook County Commissioner Brian Barney. "They will start backfilling with rock everything they have dug up."
Detailing next steps, Barney reported that once it is all leveled, workers will come in and dig the deep sewer line that will attach to the city sewer beneath the street.
"Then, they will come back and start digging the pier pads and the continuous footings," he said.
The pier pads go deep into the ground and are reinforced with rebar. They are the supporting structure for beams that tie into the steel structure. Continuous footings provide the support for the rest of the building's perimeter.
"Then they will come in and do the shallow sewer, the electrical and the water and the things that need to go in the ground," Barney continued. "That stuff will start around November."
Once all of the groundwork is complete, a slab will be poured, likely at some point in December.
"Then, we will start to see the structure go up," he said.
Crook County voters approved a $35 million bond measure in November 2020 that paved the way for construction of justice center, which will house the circuit court system and the district attorney's office, both of which are currently located in the Crook County Courthouse.
The building, like the courthouse, will stand three stories tall but its proposed 68,850 square feet will nearly triple the approximately 23,000 square feet of space currently available for criminal justice services.
Each floor will feature a courtroom of at least 10,000 square feet in size. The first floor will house the Crook County Sheriff's Office and the County Juvenile Department. The District Attorney's Office and Victim's Advocate office will occupy the second floor and public defense will be housed on the third floor.
The anticipated timeframe for completion of the facility is February 2024.
"It's moving along well," Barney said, noting that the project is currently on schedule. "Things are going well."
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