With the Washington County Clerk’s office and Circuit Court moving out of the courthouse, there will be some space that’s freed up.
Earlier this year, as the County Commissioner’s began exploring the most important issues with the structural integrity of the courthouse, a group formed to help educate and raise funds for possible renovations.
Friends of the Washington County Courthouse was formed back in February with Lisa Thompson and Washington County Council member Todd Ewen leading a dozen from the community.
They suggested to the Commissioners to have a building use study completed along with the updated engineering study.
Dave Kroll, Ratio Architects in Indianapolis presented two options for use of the Washington County Courthouse at Tuesday’s meeting.
Their only suggestion of bringing in new offices to the Courthouse was bringing in the Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Tourism group.
No costs were associated with the plans that were presented.
One was called the “Make it Work” plan which would have limited impact on the interior of the building other than moving offices around to fill vacant space.
In this plan, the Assessor’s office would move into the Clerk’s space, allowing the Auditor to expand into the old Assessor’s office.
The Treasurer’s office will be reconfigured to allow more customer space as will the Auditor’s office.
In both renditions, the basement configuration would remain the same, with the public records being removed from the open areas and put into storage.
Upstairs in the “Make it Work” plan, would see the addition of a breakroom, private bathrooms for the employees, the addition of an office for the Commissioners, and the addition of offices for the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism group.
There would also be storage and the Circuit Courtroom would be preserved as meeting space.
In the “Ideal” layout, which Kroll said could be about twice as much as the previous plan, there would be plans to move the Recorder’s office upstairs and place the Washington County Tourism office in it’s place.
In the upstairs of the “Ideal” layout, the Record’s office and storage would be moved to one of the attorney meeting rooms.
Kroll said most of the offices has small refrigerators and making a room upstairs for a breakroom could consolidate those items into one room.
A work room would have shared electronics, printers and copiers and there would be a mailroom.
The main difference in the “Ideal” plan would be moving walls and cutting into rooms, which would drive up the cost.
First District Commissioner Phil Marshall asked Kroll to provide some figures for the plans he presented.