A groundbreaking ceremony was held Dec. 5 to mark the start of construction on the expansion of the Boone County Justice Center at 1905 Indianapolis Ave. in Lebanon.
Boone County Commissioners President Jeff Wolfe said the center, which was originally built in 1992, will greatly benefit from the expansion project in the long term.
“We’ve kind of outgrown it over the years,” Wolfe said. “Boone County has been a fast-growing community. We’ve nearly doubled in size population-wise since this jail was built.”
Wolfe said the county plans to implement programs for rehabilitation, offering as many or more hours of mental health treatment than any other justice center in the state or the nation.
“The project is designed to allow the jail to move people through the system and (allow inmates to) take advantage of those treatments,” Wolfe said. “We’re really excited and looking forward to moving this project forward.”
Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said the county has been attempting to launch the project since June of 2014.
“We’ve spent the past two years trying to convince the council and do everything we need to do to get the funding to build this project,” Nielsen said.
According to Nielsen, the building has gone from a $7.5 million project to a $60 million project since it was first proposed.
“I think this is going to set the Boone County community up for many years to come,” Nielsen said.
The project is expected to be completed by February of 2025.