New plans on table for Rock Island County courthouse

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It could be a solution to problems with the Rock Island County courthouse. Judges had threaten to sue over the building months ago, but there's a new idea on the table.

The 1893 Rock Island County courthouse has seen better days. You can see the wear and tear throughout the building.

"Unfortunately the maintenance hasn't been done to it," said board member Brian Vyncke.

The ongoing discussion on what to do with the courthouse had been put on the back burner until Tuesday night. The Rock Island County board discussed options, among them, a new courthouse was brought to the table. A presentation was presented to the Public Building Commission on November 13, 2014 about building a juvenile detention center in Rock Island County.

"The public building commission is now reviewing that and looking at the different options," said State's Attorney, Jon McGehee,

Right now the county spends close to $1.4 million dollars to send juveniles to Galesburg to house them there. Not only could this idea be a money saver to the county, but possibly bring in new revenue.

"I would imagine we would have a meeting with them and then also with the CGL the group that drew up our plans that we kind of envision to see if we can hopefully work something out and come to some kind of conclusion that could resolve some of the problems," said Vyncke.

It could also save the county from a lawsuit that Judges have threatened to sue if changes aren't made to the building.

"There are new things that can be done as it relates to this juvenile detention center with court rooms and establishing new court rooms that could meet the needs of the county," said McGehee.

Even though it's just the beginning of many more talks to come, some hope it's the first step to get the project moving.

"If it could be a cost neutral for taxpayers that would be a win win for everybody," said Vyncke.

The Public Building Commission is looking into whether they can move forward with the juvenile detention center without a public vote.

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