March 30, 2016

County Commission receives courthouse expansion update

By Kate Johnson

The Stanton courthouse is gearing up for an expansion; however, a few hiccups have already blipped up on the radar. Nonetheless, Travis Fuechtmann, who is part of the team of lead contractors on the project, presented the Mercer County Commission with an update on the project so far.
Focusing on the site itself, Fuechtmann discussed the plans and procedures in place for future exploration of the site. He also mentioned the numerous conference calls discussing this very topic. Fuechtmann referred to Jim Albers , who has been on the site often to gain knowledge of the history of the area. He reported there had been what was referred to as a “gravel pit” on site, and Fuechtmann noted a lot of the site had been disturbed over the years.
“In a nutshell, we’re probably back to where we were originally, and that there’s really not a lot of concern but due diligence to follow through and make sure all basis are covered,” says Fuechtmann.
Although doubtful about the chances of finding any Native Americans artifacts, Fuechtmann reported things to be in order if that rare occasion was to present itself.
“So we’re starting to boil it down to there is probably nothing left of what would have or what may have been a village sitting where the parking lot is, but we need to have a plan in place,” says Fuechtmann.
Fuechtmann felt that, if they were to recover any artifacts, they would be located in the north quadrant, which he referred to as “manageable,” being that they have a plan or procedure in place when or if they do discover artifacts.
With spring coming so quickly this year, construction and projects are said to be getting a head start, and the Stanton courthouse is in the same boat. Fuechtmann reported they will be targeting to begin in the start of April, which will commence with a few temporary walls to build on the jail side to make sure there is still a public access point from that side. At that time, signage will be put together and placed appropriately.
There will also be a fence going up surrounding the project, and they will also be closing down the back parking lot. Fuechtmann said everyone would need to become situated in the front parking lot.


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