Jail Project Director

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Local contractors will have a big role in building Winnebago County's new Justice Center, according to the man selected to oversee the project's construction. Gary Burdett was in Rockford Wednesday to talk about his vision for the building.

After reviewing the qualifications of more than 50 candidates, the Winnebago County Board selected Burdett to oversee the construction of the more than one hundred million dollar Justice Center. It is a big project Burdett says he's ready for.

In about 10 days, Gary Burdett will be on the job overseeing one of Winnebago County's biggest construction projects. At a press conference, he laid out his goals for the new jail.

"On schedule, with cost effective solutions and hopefully good quality and something that the people really will enjoy," Burdett said.

Local contractors and vendors are getting in line to win a piece of the multi-million dollar project.

"There will be a lot of construction dollars and those dollars are going to be spent right here in Winnebago County and a good part of the vendors and labor will be right here. So there will be a tremendous impact on the employment situation overall for several years," said Burdett.

County officials say they selected the Mount Sterling resident because of his ties to Illinois, vast construction experience, a current job with the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Burdett will hire designers and contractors throughout the construction and then train county officials on the new building and it's capabilities. For this, Burdett will be compensated $90,000 a year for about two years.

Burdett is leaving his job as public service administrator for the Illinois Department of Corrections to take the job. Burdett has over 20 years in construction management experience. He will have an office in the Winnebago County Administration Building and is expected to start the first week of April.


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