Simplified: Lincoln County Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve design concepts and, more significantly for taxpayers, the maximum price tag on a new courthouse.

Why it matters

  • The current Lincoln County courthouse building has been in the center of town since Canton was established as the county seat in 1875, and while the existing building has seen several remodels since then, it's still an aging facility with not enough space to meet the needs of a fast-growing county.
  • The new building is expected to be off of Highway 18 on the west side of town, near 480th Street. A unanimous vote from the commission approved Henry Carlson Construction's guaranteed maximum price of $45.6 million.
  • DLG Group Architects presented commissioners with a look at the new facility's design, including materials used and generally what both the inside and outside of the building will look like.
"A lot of our inspiration came from the landscape in the area," DLG Group architect Michelle Graham told commissioners on Tuesday.

Tell me more about the new facility

The commission first got a look at the specifics of plans for the three-story building this spring, including plans to have space left over on the third floor for future growth.

On Tuesday, the focus was on materials that'll be used and the overall design concept and aesthetic of the building before it moves into the final construction documents and then goes out for bid in early 2024.

  • Graham stressed the durability of materials in the plan, from a precast exterior to carpet tiles, stained concrete and wood inside.

Commissioners also got a look at the design of a courtroom, including patterned wood, Graham said was intended to be reminiscent of the layering of pink quartzite.

Commissioner Jim Schmidt lauded the design team for its focus on durability.

"This is something that all the residents of Lincoln County can be very proud of, that we’ve made something that is very functional and usable," Schmidt said. "It's a testament to the county itself."

What happens next?

The goal is to start construction in April or May.