OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis.(WBAY) - The Outagamie County Government Center opened its doors to the public Monday morning. The new facility now combines all county offices and courtrooms through one secure main entrance for visitors.
The highlight is the added security with a metal detector that everyone must pass through.
Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson said although the conversation started three years ago for the $27 million project, there were years of studies leading up to today.
“There were enough studies done to fill an entire bookcase, so the board came together about 3 or 4 years ago and they said we're finally going to do this, we've got to get this done, there's more than enough need,” said Nelson.
The studies focused on security options and the need for more space for county employees.
“So if you want to go to the courts, the district attorney, to the Administration Building, Health and Human Services, ADRC, you go through one secure entrance, and of course there are abundant reasons why people are concerned about safety and security in a public space,” said Nelson.
The county and the sheriff's department say this all came at a good time and it's worth the investment.
“Anything can happen, anywhere obviously, but it just, we feel that it's important for the protection of the citizens that visit the facility as well as the employees that work here that there be a reasonable level of security, in having people come through and having their bags checked and have them walk through a metal detector we thing is minimally invasive, and very well worth the investment,” said Outagamie County Undersheriff Michael Jobe.