A computer-generated image of the entrance to the future Riverton Justice Center at Major and Gasser roads. Image by Reilly Johnson Architecture.

(Riverton, Wyo.) – After a 3-1 vote yesterday, the Fremont County Commission agreed to move forward and seek bids for a new Riverton Justice Center, Commissioner Travis Becker said in an interview.

Becker said the county would begin accepting bids for the roughly $5 million project on Monday, April 28 through 2 p.m. on May 22. On that day, the commission will open bids and begin evaluating them, with a potential award date of June 10.

The Justice Center will be built on county property on the north end of Major Avenue. It will house county Sheriff, Attorney and Circuit Court offices. Ballistic glass will be installed around the entire building, and thick walls will be used to provide protection from firearms. Part of the impetus for the project was the discovery a bullet hole penetrating the wall of the current justice center in the summer of 2012.

Fremont County has an application in to the State Loan and Investment Board for approximately $2.5 million, or 50 percent of the project cost. The Legislature this session allocated funds to be awarded through SLIB specifically for courthouse projects. Becker said he is confident the county will receive the funds, but they will not be awarded until June 9.

The remainder of the cost would be through a long-term self-loan from the county’s reserve fund.┬áIf all goes as expected, Becker expects construction to begin this summer.

Commission Vice Chairman Keja Whiteman was the lone no vote. Commissioner Stephanie Kessler was not in attendance.