Groundbreaking for New County Highway Garage Facility

Fond du Lac County broke ground on a new County
Highway Facility on Thursday morning. The new garage will be located on South Hickory Road,
just south of Highway 151. County Highway Commissioner Tom Jahnke tells us the
project has been a long time coming. 

Jahnke says “our
existing facility was built in 1929. It’s approaching 90 years old. When that
building was built, we were driving Model T trucks and vehicles. It’s just way
too small. The new facility will be about 126,000 square feet – our existing is
just under 70,000. We’re tight with space and tight in physical space – the
property itself is very tight and not very functional anymore.”

He adds that more than just a garage will be put up on that property. 

Jahnke says there are a few “other departments that
are co-locating out here as well. Sheriff’s impound and sheriff’s shooting
range and senior services as well, so with that, all of those needs are going
to be addressed for many years to come.”

The Sheriff’s Office used to have to plan travel time or extra training periods to send their deputies to a different area to get their shooting certifications. 

When it comes to the facility itself, Jahnke says “it’s going to be a huge improvement from where we’re at. Anybody that’s been at our old facility can realize and appreciate it. It’s located right on the city streets, you can’t hardly fit our trucks in the garages anymore. If you’re the last person in there, it takes you four minutes to maneuver your truck in to even park. So this is just a huge, huge improvement – much needed, more efficient, all around nice looking and be good to go for the next 90 years.”

Jahnke is excited about the future, and tells us “we’re hoping to be moving into this facility either this time – early 2020 or late 2019 – so we’re looking at about a year. Maybe a little more depending on the weather obviously, now we’re calling for snow tomorrow so things weren’t going to be getting along here. But needless to say, within a year or so we’ll be moving in.”

Excel Engineering helped design the facility, while CD Smith Construction is working to build it.