(Lander, WY) – Remodeling on the Lander Circuit Courtroom wrapped up recently, and the public was invited to attend the open house today, Tuesday, June 27, which will still be going on until 3:00 PM.
JR Oakley, was the Facilities Manager for Fremont County when the project started, and although currently retired, decided to stay on board to help see everything through.
He was in attendance at the open house today and explained that the remodeling process was quite the endeavor.
The current courtroom was once an “open to the elements” exercise room and basketball court for the old jail, Oakley explained.
After the space was eventually enclosed and updated, it was repurposed and attached with the auxiliary courtroom, which now holds a jury room, courtroom, judge’s chambers for the Honorable Judge Jefferson Coombs, a law library, a file room and handicap accessible public bathrooms.
The concept for the remodel started 16 months ago Oakley told County 10, and once the bid and planning processes were complete it took about 90 days to finish the job, all thanks to Nelson Architects out of Riverton and the general contractor, Yeates Construction.
“We’re still reconciling, but the total cost was about $900,000,” Oakley said of the project budget, adding that number encompassed a lot of stages, including the planning and design.
Oakley went on to say that “Fremont County has a lot of nice courtrooms” compared to what others may work with, and that he has heard multiple remarks that other courthouses throughout the state “look to Fremont County as a leader.”
“I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but I like hearing it!” Oakley continued.
Also excited for the remodeled space was Judge Coombs, who explained that the previous courtroom was designed to be a District rather than Circuit courtroom, and was just too big for what was needed.
Judge Coombs added that now thanks to the remodel he has a secure chamber that connects to the courtroom, which is specifically designed for Circuit court purposes.
“I’m very appreciative of the County for doing this, and I think it will serve the people well,” Judge Coombs said.