Actual construction is nearly ready to begin on the first part of the Ward County jail remodeling and expansion.
The Ward County Board voted today to move offices and people from the basement of the courthouse so that work can begin to turn the space into a juvenile detention center.
The work could begin within six weeks or so in an area adjacent to the existing juvenile court.
County Engineer Dana Larsen told board members the engineers on the project want to get going on identifying structural issues they'll face in putting the center in the basement.
(Dana Larsen, Ward County Engineer) "They would like for individuals to be out within maybe 30 days so they could start removing items so they can begin the process - and I think they talked about maybe within a year juvenile detention could be open if we got going on it right away."
(Shelly Weppler, Ward County Commissioner) "I think we should just get moving on it and make it happen."
Sheriff Steve Kukowski told commissioners the work is important because it will help him spend grant money that might run out if work isn't begun soon.
He also says the relocation of the juvenile detention center will open up several new beds for the county jail.
The jail remodeling and expansion will ultimately include a new building to help greatly expand the capacity of the jail.