City commences court construction
Renovation for a court facility in Bella Vista is under way.
The renovations of the court facility at 612 W. Lancashire Blvd., approved by the City Council in June, were bid at $104,405, with a 10 percent contingency, bringing the project’s budget to $114,895.
Police Chief James Graves was assigned as project manager for these renovations because of security concerns, he said. Construction is staying on schedule. He expects the alarm system to be installed this week, he said, before walls
“It is going to be a fully functional court,” he said.
Because the space is under lease, he said, some of the stuff going into it is designed to be movable in case the city decides to move the courtroom elsewhere once the lease is up, though the city may also choose to renew the lease.
It’s important for his department to be involved in the process, he said, and police input has gone into the overall layout, as has input from the city’s legal staff.
“We come into play because it affects a lot of our operations,” Graves said. “It’s kind of a multi-layered effort.”
Having this facility in town, he said, should reduce transit times for residents and police alike and, on court day, ensure officers are in the city and available if the department receives a high-priority call. On the whole, he said, court service should be improved for Bella Vistans.
“I think it’ll be a pretty big deal,” Graves said. “It’s going to help the city, the Police Department and the citizens.”
Dustin Bartley, superintendent with Construction Services Group Marion Company, said his crew is working on framing everything up and wiring the new facility. The portion of the court facility closest to the entrance, he said, is going to be mostly new construction, though the offices
lining the back wall were left alone for the most part.
In addition to new walls and wiring, he said, the facility is going to get fresh paint, new ceilings and new carpet.
The plan, he said, is to finish mid-September.
“It’ll be a real courtroom,” he said.
Once the court is finished, Graves said, the court clerk will begin working.
Bella Vista’s Human Resources manager Melissa Cruise, said a court clerk has been hired and is slated to begin working Sept. 11.
The new court facility in Bella Vista is currently under construction. The empty space will be the seating area and the wooden base near the back wall is for the judge’s bench.