For those who have yet to notice the rising building that is taking shape near the courthouse, what your seeing is the new Orange County Adult Probation building. The bricks are laid, the sheetrock is up, and the electrical is taken care of. The main tasks remaining on the checklist are the suspended ceiling and the floor.

Orange County Maintenance Director, Mark Wimberley, gave his best guess as to when the building would be completed. “We’ve already got past a few obstacles, getting the bricks laid and stuff like that… We’re looking at finishing around March, or April at the latest.”

The work on the new building officially began on May 16 of last year. That means that total time for expected construction will be less than one year. Six months less than what Wimberley expected it to take. With all construction problems arise that require dealing with, for the new building this as been no different.

“We had a little issue on the electrical, but that got resolved and we ended up getting our credit back,” Wimberley said. This problem was only made worse by the fact that it occurred on the eve of the holidays. With everyone rushing around and reveling in the spirit it took them longer than expected to get in touch with the people that could fix the job.

With the electrical issue resolved, the crews can finish up the Sheetrock. This means that the walls and outer structure as been nearly completed, and the crews can now work on the building regardless of the weather; making the completion date that much easier to reach.

One of the main points of interest in the new building is its height, the same height as the Courthouse. As everyone remembers from Ike the Courthouse was able to avoid a lot of damage, only taking 16 inches of water inside, unharmed compared to others in the area. This height, and its up to date equipment, will allow the Probation Center to take on additional functions in times of distress for the county.

The Probation building is one of great importance to the community. It allows the officers to have a home in the center of the city, instead of sharing space in the John Tarver Center. This home is important because of the roles that its officers play.

Probation officers are responsible for keeping an eye on ex-offenders of the law who are seeking to adjust to, or improve, their lives in a community. They are also officers of the courts. They must fulfill court regulations, such as performing pre-sentence investigations and preparing reports on their clients. Officers also have the task of enforcing court orders, making arrest, performing searches, seizing evidence, and arranging for drug testing. Since they are dealing with those who have shown disrespect for the law, they are allowed to carry firearms.

The community is sure to embrace the new building, which will be styled the same as the buildings around it. Wimberley said, “I think they’re going to love it. It will blend right in with all the buildings in this complex, and I do believe it won’t get wet again.”

The building is located at 106 S. Border in Orange, across the street from the Orange County Courthouse, and is expected to be completed at the latest, in April.