By Vinde Wells
Everyone was in agreement Tuesday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ogle County Sheriff’s Administration Building — the facility is much needed.
“It’s a long-needed facility,” Ogle County Board Chairman Kim Gouker.
County board member Don Griffin agreed. “It’s not only going to serve the present but also long into the future for the county.”
“This is a facility that’s desperately needed,” said architect Guy Gehlhausen. “It will have all the latest security.”
Ogle County 911 Coordinator Sandy Beitel said the new building will be a more convenient, safer environment for county employees.
The new building, which has been under construction since early this spring, will replace the century-old sheriff’s office donated to the county more than 25 years ago by the E.D. Etnyre Company.
The building has a leaky roof, needs electrical and technological upgrades, and is not handicapped accessible.
The Oregon Mayor Tom Stone said he remembered working in the old building years ago when he first went to work for Etnyre’s.
“This will be a nice facility,” he said. “It will be a great thing for the City of Oregon.”
The final speaker was Nathan Heinrich, the vice president of Rockford Structures, the contractor for the project, who said he was honored to be a part of it.
The new facility is being built to the east of the current sheriff’s office at 103 Jefferson St. and will house the sheriff’s department, coroner and morgue, and the 911 call center.
It is expected to be completed by early next year.
Once it is completed, the old building will be demolished, and the space where it now sits will be used for parking.