JOLIET TOWNSHIP — Construction of the new Will County Safety Complex was completed about six weeks ahead of schedule and the grand opening is tentatively set for mid-January.
Dave Tkac, deputy chief of staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh, said the end result has been completed and the different departments are in the process of a phased move-in that will take until the end of December.
The 85,000 square-foot, $30 million building will house a consolidated 911 dispatch center that will serve 31 communities, the county's Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB), training space and evidence storage.
"The state mandated that all counties take a look at how to consolidate emergency dispatching and Will County is at the forefront," said Tkac. "So the opening of this Public Safety Complex represents a milestone in county history."
The Will County Sheriff's Department, which will also be in the complex, was able to use some leftover funds to build an equipment storage building. Tkac added that having all the Sheriff's Department's non-detention and non-judicial operations under one roof is something that hasn't happened in a long time.
The old Sheriff's office and their First Midwest location, which houses Investigations and Support Services, will be demolished once workers are moved into the new complex.
Another aspect Tkac and the county like to highlight about the project is that conservatively, 35 percent of the trade contractors that worked on the project are headquartered in Will County.
"That's a really important thing to all the local officials," Tkac said. "When we take these projects on, we want to put local people to work to the greatest extent possible."
Another large project in the county is the planning of the construction of the new $215.5 million, 10-story courthouse. Tkac said the design process has been completed and the project is currently being bid.
The new courthouse will house 38 courtrooms and the county clerk's office.
The one big difference from the current courthouse is how detainees will be securely transferred from holding areas to the courtrooms. The new courthouse will have separate elevators for detainees and secure areas so that there is no interaction with the public.
The ground breaking ceremony for the new courthouse is scheduled for December 19.