By Roxanne Squires
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Construction of security upgrades on the Rock County Courthouse is set to begin by December 2018 following approval from the county board on a contract for the project, according to the Gazette Extra.
By a unanimous vote, the board gave the thumbs-up to a resolution granting the contract to JP Cullen of Madison, Wis.
Previously, approximately $1.7 million was budgeted for the project’s first phase, which the county board approved in March 2017, and started work on more than 150 new security cameras, updates to panic alarms and “energized hardware,” and badge clearance to 92 doors.
Now, the contract authorized the second and third phase of the current security upgrades at the courthouse. These particular phases will focus on changing how the public accesses the courthouse and will also modify the east-side entrance, which is expected to cost around $5.2 million next year.
The county will ultimately consolidate all public entrances to the first-floor lobby on the west side of the courthouse, where the public will be required to pass through a metal detector at the entrance and remove belongings from their pockets. Rock County Sheriff’s Office personnel will be situated near the lobby door and security screening station.
A majority of the south portion of the lobby will be expanded to accommodate a new sheriff’s office station and screening equipment. A security station currently exists on the second floor of the building.
County employees will enter from the east side of the building with badges and will not be screened. Another exterior entrance currently exists near a bus stop on the north side of the building. That entrance will remain accessible for disabled individuals.
Phases 2 and 3 also consist of parking lot repairs that require painting the parking ramps white and installing LED lighting. At the entrance on the building’s east side, the stairs will be taken out and a ramp and elevator will be fitted.
Construction on all the projects will begin in December and is expected to take about a year.
The projects will be divided throughout the year so that the front lobby and parking lot will remain accessible throughout the entire duration of the projects.
Reports from the Gazette Extra contributed to this story.