Old county jail demolition near completion

Doorway between jail, old courthouse needs to be sealed off

Demolition of the old Ogle County Jail in downtown Oregon continues. The 1960s-era jail was connected to the Ogle County Courthouse via a basement pathway (seen here by the white door) through which prisoners were escorted to the courthouse for hearings.

OREGON — Demolition of the old Ogle County Jail isn’t quite done, but is near completion.

Located at 107 South 5th St., in Oregon, the old jail was attached to the south side of the historic Ogle County Courthouse, a building in which many county officials still have offices.

“Right now, there’s a doorway that went into the lower level of the courthouse from the jail, and it’s still in place,” County Engineer Jeremy Ciesiel said. “We need to remove that door, remove the cinder block wall, and pour a reinforced concrete plug to seal it off.”

Frigid temperatures have delayed that work, he said. Once the weather improves, they’ll take care of it, Ciesiel said, noting that he doesn’t have a date for when the work will take place.

“We have a smaller fence around that area now to protect it,” he said.

On Oct. 18, Ogle County Board members accepted a $98,300 bid from Martin & Co., of Oregon, to demolish the old jail. The cost of demolition is being paid for for using American Rescue Plan Act monies; an expenditure also approved by board members on Oct. 18.

Martin crews began tearing down the 1969 cement block building on Dec. 5. Debris was removed and the basement has now been filled. Once completed, the site will be used for additional parking and as greenspace.

The new Ogle County Correctional Center opened in November 2020.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.