A plan in the works for nearly a decade took another major step to fruition when ground was broken for the new Faulkner County Criminal Justice Building Tuesday.

Citing county officials’ "conservative nature" with county funds, Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin praised the efforts of all who had a part in the path to reality for the courts building.

"The forward vision of everyone involved has been outstanding," Scroggin said.

Dodging the drizzling rain, Circuit Judge Mike Maggio noted that the new building will allow a centralized location for all judges and law personnel to conduct their business. For many years, various courts have been spread out through various buildings.

"I thought I would have been long retired by the time this came to light," Maggio said. "But this is a tremendous asset for all of us in Faulkner County."

The Criminal Justice Center, which will be located at 513 German Lane, will be a four story building housing seven courtrooms, offices for the five Circuit Judges and their staffs, the Prosecuting Attorney and staff, the Probation Office staff, the Juvenile Court staff, and others. There will also be accommodations for on-site staff and personnel of the Circuit Clerk, County Clerk, and Sheriff’s Department.

Justices of the Peace from past and present as well as judges and law enforcement officials lent their shovels to the ceremony.

"Simply put, it was a bipartisan effort, no party politics, just the leaders of Faulkner County identifying a critical need, finding a long term solution, and making it happen," Scroggin said.