County celebrates progress at new law building

INDIO, Calif. - Riverside County is spending millions of dollars in the city of Indio, hoping to keep you safe and create jobs.  Public officials celebrated the progress of construction at its three-story, 90,000-square-foot law building at Highway 111 and Jackson Street.  It will house a law library and personnel from the district attorney's and public defender's offices.  

The topping-out ceremony marks major progress for construction and for the city. "I think it's awesome," said Assemblyman Manuel Perez.  "It's going to build upon the local economy. It's going to help us all at the end of the day, especially when we talk about justice."

The new building is just one part of a large blue print for the area.  It will help make room for the construction of a new $350 million East County Detention Center, providing more space to house prisoners.

"From a public safety standpoint with AB 109, we absolutely need the jail beds," said county supervisor John Benoit.  "We've got 1,000 jail beds taken up by prisoners who should be in state prisons but aren't anymore." 

Construction plans also include a parking structure, an Emergency Operations Center and a restaurant. All this building means temporary construction jobs and long-term positions for people in Indio.  

"This project and these projects plural is going to mean about 400 more jobs to us in the city than already are employed," said Mayor Michael Wilson.  

The county says they're ahead of schedule and hope to finish the law building by January.  In the meantime, demolition of the space where the jail will go is a bit slower process.  Signs of asbestos and proximity to other buildings prevents a mass tear down.

"They are going step-by-step in taking that down, they're recycling pieces of the building," said Mayor Wilson. 

That's also in line with a focus on renewable energy by the county.  The new building features carport solar panels to generate electricity, drought-resistant landscaping, electric charging stations and energy and water-saving features.

Other future facilities include the East County Emergency Operations Center on Dr. Carreon Boulevard and Oasis, and a three-level, 1,000 vehicle capacity parking structure for use by government employees and the general  public at Plaza Avenue and Oasis. 

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