OREGON – Demolition of the former Ogle County Jail started Monday morning.
Oregon residents could hear the construction begin as an excavator from Martin & Co., of Oregon, began pounding and crushing the cement walls of the building that was constructed in the 1960s.
By mid-morning, portions of cells could be seen as the excavator worked its way across the structure.
The Ogle County Board approved Martin’s bid of $98,000 to raze the building on Oct. 18 after receiving a total of eight bids for the project.
The cost of demolition will be paid for using American Rescue Plan Act monies; that expenditure also was approved by board members Oct. 18.
The jail, located at 107 South 5th St., is just south of the historic Ogle County Courthouse built in 1891. That structure still houses several county offices. The new Ogle County Correctional Center, located west of the Ogle County Judicial Center, opened November 2020.
The judicial center, also located in the 100 block of South Fifth Street, houses courtrooms and county offices affiliated with the court system.
Ogle County Engineer Jeremy Ciesiel oversaw the bid process for the jail demolition.
“We are hopeful that the demolition will be complete before the end of the year. We currently have favorable weather, so it should progress nicely while that holds up. However, if the conditions degrade, there may be delays,” he said.
The current plan for the site is to add one row of parking stalls on the east side of the existing parking lot along with associated sidewalks that will connect the east side of the courthouse to the west side in a manner similar to that on the north side of the courthouse, Ciesiel said.
“The rest of the area currently occupied by the old jail will be converted into greenspace. The parking lot expansion and sidewalk construction will not be completed until the summer of 2023,” he said.