A project whose planning stages began years ago came a step closer to having visible results with a groundbreaking ceremony held Thursday morning for the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center.
On April 7, 2015, the public’s vote gave the county approval to move forward with their plan to construct a new building to serve as the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office as well as the county’s detention center.
“It’s a special day for the county,” commission chair Barbara Albright said, saying the new center will provide more space as well as a safer environment and improved conditions for the inmates and the staff.
With work beginning soon on clearing and beginning construction on the property located just east of the Briggs Auto Group off Highway 69, the commissioners stated they hope it will be complete in about a year.
“It’s been a long journey,” commissioner Lynne Oharah said. “It’s going to be a good project for the community and I’m excited to see the ground start moving and the land get cleared.”
Commissioner Harold Coleman admitted it was a long and often difficult process to get to this point—facing hurdles such as getting the project approved by the county citizens, finding suitable property and deciding on the building design—but that work was well worth it as they begin to see work being done on the new law enforcement center.
Sheriff Bill Martin expressed his appreciation to the county and city officials as well as the citizens for making the new center a reality. Martin pointed out that a lot of the hard work was completed by his own staff and leadership.
Lindsay Madison, executive director of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, said during the ceremony that there are numerous projects going on around the city of Fort Scott, and that the new center is another key project that will build up the infrastructure of the county for years and generations to come.
“We are leaving a footprint on our history,” Madison said of those projects, including the new law enforcement center.
County, city and sheriff’s office leaders participated in the groundbreaking ceremony as did representatives from the architecture and engineering firms that took part in the planning and design process of the center.