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  • Writer's pictureErin B.

Kootenai County Justice Center Expansion Update


There has been a need to expand the Justice Center for some time and the commissioners decided to make it priority capital project at the end of 2019. Original cost estimates were sitting around $20 million, and because of Scamdemic delays and booming development industry, the cost has now bloomed to roughly $34 million. Twenty-two million dollars will be provided by ARPA funds however the county has enough to cover the rest of the expenses.

After putting the project out to bid in 2022, Spokane’s Bouten Construction was approved to be the general contractor and Lombard Conrad Architects was chosen as the project architect.

The June 26th meeting was to give an update on where Bouten and LCA were at in the pre-construction phase, plus give a more certain final cost estimate on the full project. Note that because there are some materials and design choices still to be made on both the exterior and interior parts of the project, a final cost estimate is not yet available. Bouten should have more of a cost certainty in August 2023.


There are some ways to drop that budget with some engineering choices and speedy contractor scheduling options*.

*Looking at the regional projects, there are fewer projects that are $20 million or more which makes those contractors more available to bid on this project, which will help drive the cost down and get this project scheduled to be completed earlier than expected.

Interior finishes will also be a matter of budget; some finishing choices have yet to be made and could potentially lower the overall budget.


Phase (Work Package) I: Earthworks, Utilities, Construction Support

  • Bouten will be finalizing plans by July 14.

  • Bidding will be open until August 18.

  • Ground-breaking Sept. 5

Phase (Work Package) II: Structure, Mechanical, Electrical

  • Design ready by August 25.

  • Out to bid until September 22.

  • Construction starting in the fall.

Phase (Work Package) III: Interior, Exterior Finishes

  • Design ready by December 1.

  • Out to bid until December 29.

  • Construction starting in late winter/early Spring.

The commissioners approved Bouten and Lombard Conrad to proceed. The next meeting has yet to be scheduled.

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