by Kate Knable
Posted 2/11/2013 12:00 am
Dirt work is in progress at the site of the future Faulkner County Criminal Justice Center, which is slated to open in 2014 as a new, consolidated location for Faulkner County’s circuit courts and related offices.
The new facility will cost $10.6 million and is being built on an empty lot at 513 German Lane in Conway, the county seat.
Foundation work on the county-owned lot could begin this week, said Rik Sowell, owner of the project’s architecture firm, Rik Sowell Architects in Conway.
Alessi Keyes Construction of North Little Rock is the general contractor for the project. Robbins Engineering of Little Rock is serving as structural engineer. HSA Engineering of Conway is the mechanical and electrical engineer. Crafton Tull of Conway is the civil engineer and landscape architect. CGL of Columbia, S.C., is serving as the project’s security consultant.
The new facility will functionally replace Faulkner County’s 1936 courthouse, which is located about a mile away in downtown Conway. The new building will neighbor the county’s Unit 2 jail facility.
In the 1990s, the county’s courts and prosecutors’ offices began using multiple buildings, eventually spreading out to the five buildings currently in use, said Jeff Johnston, county administrator.
The new, four-story building will be 17,500 SF and will feature seven courtrooms, judicial suites for all of the judges, offices for prosecuting attorneys, offices for the county and circuit clerks, and space for the county’s hot checks and victim services offices.
The new construction will allow for modern security features, such as a single, secure entrance for the public and secure parking for judges, said County Judge Allen Dodson, who took office Feb. 1.