Pottawatomie County anticipating completion of Justice Center

By The Mercury

With construction nearing completion, Pottawatomie County Commissioners Monday began planning public tours of the new justice center at Westmoreland prior to its official opening.

The final contract day for work on the $14 million facility is August 8, and commissioners hope to open the 63,000-square-foot facility to the public before occupancy begins August 19.

Robert Reece, county administrator, said Saturday, August 10, may be a good day for public tours, and said he would work on details with Trisha Fruendt of SMH Consultants, the county’s construction liaison.

In her weekly progress update on the justice center, Fruendt told commissioners construction should complete by the August 8 deadline.

The commission also approved two additional expenditures for the justice center––interior signage and painting of 24 metal cell bunks in the jail portion of the facility.

Commissioners approved a low bid of $21,894 from Schurle Signs for interior signage, leaving approximately $18,000 for exterior signage from the $40,000 budgeted.

The commission reluctantly approved $3,330 for painting cell bunks, which the architect and general contractor determined had not been included in original bid documents.

“How about if I do it for $2,000?” Commissioner Pat Weixelman quipped, noting that two $4 cans of Rustoleum should be adequate for each bed.

The commission also asked John Keller, county planner and Gregg Webster, zoning administrator, to begin investigating possible areas east of Manhattan to develop a business park for “spin-offs” from the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) planned for Manhattan.

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