The dirt flew at this morning's ground breaking ceremony. From left: Commissioner Travis Becker, Judge Wes Roberts, Sheriff Skip Hornecker, St. Rep. Rita Campbell, St. Rep. David Miller, St. Sen. Eli Bebout, Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite, Commissioner Doug Thompson, Riverton Chief Deputy County Attorney Bob Rose, Riverton Mayor Ron Warpness. (Ernie Over photo)

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The official groundbreaking of the Fremont County’s new┬áRiverton Justice Center at Majors and Cooper Road was held this morning with Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite in attendance.

The $4.4 million dollar justice center will be the new home of the Ninth District District Circuit Court of Judge Wesley A. Roberts, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department’s┬áRiverton Station headed by Undersheriff Ryan Lee, and the Fremont County Attorney’s Riverton office, now headed by Chief Deputy Bob Rose.

The new facility will replace the current structure on South Broadway, a former Fremont County Fair metal livestock barn that had been remodeled and upgraded several times. A bullet penetrated the courtroom in 2012. The building is now surrounded with metal Conex boxes.

L.M. Olson Company of Rawlins is the general contractor. The site has already been cleared of most of its topsoil, and the site is being “dewatered” for preparation of the footings being dug this coming Monday. The new building should be completed in 10 to 12 months and be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2015.

Justice Kite, who helped shepherd the project through the State Legislature with the help of Governor Matt Mead, local legislators and the legislative leadership, expressed her thanks to the community for their perseverance and support of the project. “We’ve done this for the public to make this safe.”

Fremont County Commission Chairman Doug Thompson said “I can assure the taxpayers that this is a functional building that was designed to be economic, efficient and safe.

Judge Roberts said he had a concern for many years about the security of the building, noting “that as a judge it is my heavy responsibility for everyone who walks in the door to be safe.”

Photos by Ernie Over. Click to enlarge.