News & Updates

Renovation Continues - July 1, 2018

While the Addition project would appear to be completed from the viewpoint of the casual observer, there remain yet a few items of great importance to be accomplished.

  1. Additional addon's for the security enhancements for doors, locks and cameras
  2. New brass handrail for the interior side of the origional stairwell
  3. Interior and Exterior Signage
  4. Exterior Lighting

Once those items have been remedied, discussions will continue on a date for a public viewing with an Open House.

Almost Complete - April 1, 2018

The question is often overheard, if not addressed directly to those working in the Courthouse, "When will they be done with this project?" The answer is often difficult, especially in the latter stages when there is usually those "punch list" items in which to address.

The new elevator has been operational for several months in the new Addition. Door glass has recently been installed to give the general appearance of completeness; as this was one of those obvious signs that 'something' was missing.

While final inspection by the State Fire Marshall awaits, there are a few items addressing fire code safety yet to be accomplished; signage, stair railing - inside and out, as well as a few other items unnoticeable to the general public. Short of these landmark events, the Addition has already been handed over to the County for its full use.

What is most noticeable to the public when walking through the main entrance (the only entrance available in which to visit or enact business at the Courthouse) is the presence of Law Enforcement/Security. Armed with a walk-through scanner, baggage x-ray machine and hand wands, this important element enhancing security in the building was one of the primary focal points addressed when planning for the new Courthouse Addition. Entry into the Courthouse remains quick, although a short pause can be expected if waiting in a longer line.

It is hoped that this summer, there would be allowed an opportunity to welcome the public on a tour/walk-through of the entire Courthouse on a day of non-business; perhaps on a chosen Saturday. The people of Saline County can be pround that this historic structure stands ready to serve them with a variety of government services for many decades to come.

Courthouse Addition Nearing Completion
March 17, 2017

A great degree of planning, time, talent, effort and manpower have brought together the near completion of the Addition to the Saline County Courthouse here in Wilber, NE. Cheever Construction Company of Lincoln, NE, along with the Saline County Board of Commissioners and Berrgren Architects have communicated and orchestrated the progress with remarkable efficiency.

Although the project itself has needed to overcome a few unforeseen obsticals along the way, there has been seen nothing yet unremedied without some degree of alteration or additional consideration that provided an equal level of benefit to offset the burden of adjustment.

As was expected, there has been seen several "Change Orders" being placed on the table of the Board of Commissioners. While no one wishes for them, the planning of thier funding was foreseen; albeit not each and every challenge could been anticipated.

If all goes smoothly from this point forward, the County is tentatively staking a July 1, 2017 "grand opening sign" into its general mindset.

Topping Out Ceremony Denotes Last Piece of Raised Steel - August 3, 2016

Today Marks the day in which Cheever Construction raised in place the last piece of structural steel in support of the new Addition. Noting the event, area news media were present recording the same, along with Courthouse staff and Commissioners. This last chunk of iron was painted white and allowances made for signatures to be placed by all those present. Mounted upon this last piece was found the American flag, the Nebraska State flag and the newly adopted, and first, County Flag of Saline. In addition, a small black spruce tree rode along to the top of the Addition and will soon be planted on the grounds of the courthouse in remembrance of the occasion. (See photos here...)

Construction of Courthouse Addition Commences - August 18, 2015

In light of certain delays dealing with the Courthouse Addition itself, the work on the north parking lot has begun with the installation of a sub-drainage system that will assist in eliminating the excess flow of ground water caused by future heavy rainfalls onto neighboring properties, and associated street flooding in the immediate area. The rain water captured in retention pools underneath the parking area provides a slow release through a piping system that will leave the lot slowly down a guttering system in the alleyway.

The delay on the footing work at the Addition has found to be of necessity as further exploration of maintaining the stability of the current building has needed further enhancement and engineering discussions. It was found that the original intent in driving sheet pilings along the base of the eighty-eight year old courthouse could prove to be damaging to the structure. Further investigation found that it would be more advantageous to instead drill deeper concrete auger pilings along that same base. This would provide better stability to the current building; and protect the original courthouse and neighboring homes from minor damage from the vibration. This new development will be accomplished in conjunction with pilot footings having also been needed to support the Addition itself.

Residents are encouraged to check back often for updates and posted photo progress as new information is known.

Commissioners Choose Contractor for Courthouse Addition - April 7, 2015

The Building Committee proposed its recommendation to the entire County Board authorizing Cheever Construction Company as the general contractor for the Courthouse Addition in the amount of $6,651,000.00. Work on the Addition, Renovation and Parking Lot will commence within 30 days.

The Board will also work with Cheever to trim the cost of construction by eliminating the use of a natural limestone in favor of using a color matched, alternative stone. It was also felt the use of faux painting was unwarranted and could also be removed from the project. These two adjustments alone would save approximately $250,000.00.

Tom Sorensen of Edward Jones, was present also to discuss the preparation of the sale of bonds to fund the project. The Board instructed Edward Jones to proceed working the numbers and present back to the Board the issuance paperwork to be enacted.

The scenario painted at this meeting pursuant to the projects funding would entail merging 'interest payments' only into the current remaining bond payments on the County Jail facility. That original Jail Bond will be paid in full toward the end of 2019. At that time, the 'principal payments' on the new Courthouse Addition will replace the payments on the Jail. The Addition will then be carried for another 15 years until paid.

Bond payments will include the Addition itself, the remodeling of existing areas of the Courthouse, architectural fees, the construction and surfacing of the parking lot and vault shelving.

Also discussed, moved and approved, was the Lease/Purchase agreement with Electronic Contracting Company for $178,845.72. This is a 5-year term for the installation and maintenance of the security system/cameras to be added into the Courthouse as the Addition is completed.

The Board also discussed, moved and approved, a contract of $100,548.33 with Midwest Storage Solutions that will install files storage areas in the new vaults in the Courthouse.

In addition, the Board discussed the two properties purchased to construct a new parking area to the north of the Courthouse. The homes on these sites will be removed by County workers after the abatement of identified hazardous materials. The acquisition of these properties were funded by Inheritance Tax.

County Board Moves to Purchase Neighboring Properties - January 13, 2015

In an effort to provide suitable parking at the Saline County Courthouse, the Board of Commissioners have worked to negotiate the purchase of two neighboring properties located just north of the Courthouse in Wilber.

"The status of parking is challenging on certain days of the week as it stands currently. We've had many requests to look into expanding the availability of parking even before talk of relocating off-site offices back to the Courthouse was decided", commented Commissioner McDermott. After the anticipated completion of the Addition there will be several new occupants housed in the building. Among them will be the County Attorney's office, the Emergency Manager as well as the entire District Probation office.

Architectural plans have been refined and are expected to be completed in a manner of weeks. "Things are moving forward at a steady pace, yet we are beginning to see some rapid movement as dates are now surfacing", said McDermott. Bidding the various components of the project should begin in mid February.

Saline County Launches Website to Keep Residents Apprised of Courthouse Construction - September 26, 2014

The site, launched earlier this month, is designed to be the primary “news portal” to keep the public up-to-date about the project, said Tim McDermott, Saline County commissioner. “Our board members paid attention to concerns voiced by the public pertaining to the courthouse addition,” he said. “This website will provide expanded details on the project and because the Internet is so fluid, we can deliver and update that information more quickly than through board meeting minutes or even the media,” McDermott said. (Read More...)

Courthouse News Portal - September 1, 2014

The Saline County Board of Commissioners have announced the posting of a News Portal opening a wider range of information beyond that which might be found in County newspapers, the County website, meeting agendas or minutes. After public concern centering on the flow of information pertaining to the consideration and planning of the Courthouse Addition, the use of the internet and a new website dedicated to the planning and construction of the Addition will be used as the news portal of choice.

Preservationists Win Some, Lose Some in Nebraska - July 16, 2014

McCook Gazette - McCook, Nebraska [...Saline County's plan to build a $4.1 million addition to its historic courthouse was approved in May as a reasonable alternative to demolition and construction of a new $12 million courthouse. They say the addition will satisfy modern requirements for safety, security and accessibility while maintaining the integrity of the 86-year-old classical revival style original structure ... and for about a third of the cost. That's the economic argument that is so vital for a positive spin on preservation...] (More...)

Conceptual Plan for Addition Revealed - June 17, 2014

The Saline County Commissioners today revealed a proposed design for a $4.1 million Addition to the historic Saline County Courthouse. The new Addition will satisfy modern requirements for safety, security, and accessibility while maintaining the integrity of the building’s original architecture.

The schematic design for the Addition, unanimously approved at the board’s May 26th meeting, meets the needs determined by county officials last year. These include the installation of an elevator to provide access to all floors of the building, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); the installation of a second staircase and fire exit to comply with current Fire and Safety Codes; improvements for public security; and the construction of new, ADA-compliant public restrooms. (More...)

Public Information Meetings with Architect & Commissioners - July 8, 2014
Saline Center

Saline County Commis-
sioners will host 1st public meetings to discuss proposed improvements for the Courthouse. Event Flyer...

Crete: Comm Center

Saline County Commis-
sioners will host 2nd public meetings to discuss proposed improvements for the Courthouse. Event Flyer...

Wilber Extension

Saline County Commis-
sioners will host 3rd public meetings to discuss proposed improvements for the Courthouse. Event Flyer...