By Matt B. Walen
The Hill County Justice Center is slated to open for business in mid-September, according to the Hill County Commissioners.
Commissioner Doug Kaercher said the county will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1. The public will be able to view the new jail with tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 2-3.
The Optimist Club will hold a fund-raiser Sept. 2 from 6 to 11 p.m. for local youth groups as part of the spend a night in jail training session for the jailers and sheriffs deputies, Kaercher said.
The sheriffs office is being constructed just west of the jail and will be completed by mid-October, Kaercher said.
Wadsworth Builders Inc. of Great Falls was awarded the contract to build the sheriffs office addition with a base bid of $127,000. The commissioners approved additions of air conditioning, a vestibule and brick work for a total cost of $134,900.
The sheriff deputies and personnel will move to the new office when the building is completed, Kaercher said.
Hill County voters passed a jail bond issue on the third try for a new $4.4 million 72-bed county jail/sheriffs complex during the June 1996 election.
The commissioners awarded the $3.9 million jail construction contract to Swank Construction of Valier in late March 1998. LHeureux Page Werner of Great Falls was hired to design the new facility located south of the Hill County fairgrounds. Swank has completed the project.
The jail facility will have six separate jail locations including minimum, medium and maximum security areas for males, womens cell area, a dormitory area for working people who are ordered held in the jail at night and a juvenile cell area completely separated from the other cells.
One main guard station allows the watch crew to view inmates in all the minimum to maximum security cells.