By Dustin Ensinger
The Delaware County commissioners are expected to vote Monday on a resolution to seek qualifications from architectural firms to implement the county’s facilities master plan.
The master plan, adopted by a six-member facilities committee in April, calls for $52.6 million worth of new construction and renovations over the next five years to alleviate overcrowding and inefficiencies.
The largest of the projects – slated to cost $21.6 million – is the construction of a new, 62,295-square -foot facility likely to house the Delaware County Common Pleas Court, the Delaware County Clerk of Court’s office, the Delaware County Prosecutor’s office, Adult Court Services and Adult Probation Authority.
The build is slated for the site of the former Elks Lodge at 110 N. Sandusky St. The City of Delaware recently voted to allow the county to demolish the historic structure.
The plans, drafted by GBBN Architects, also calls for the addition of a 220-space parking deck in the rear of the building.
Delaware County’s historic courthouse is also set for a major upgrade, including $8.6 million in renovations and $6.7 million in additions. The renovations and additions will bring the total size of the building to 56, 300-square-feet. It will house the juvenile and probate courts, along with child support services.
The plans, which Commissioner Gary Merrell called a “schematic template,” also call for the construction of a three-story, 125-space parking deck on Franklin Street, $2.1 million in renovations to the Hayes Building and a $2.5 million storage facility at the Delaware County Jail.
Commissioner Ken O’Brien said he wants the new building and renovated ones to blend in with the area.
“My desire is very much to match what the Hayes Building is,” he said. “I don’t want anything grander. But I don’t want anything less grand. I want it to fit into the architecture of the area.”
He also said he wants to move quickly and get the projected bonded before interest rates increase.
“It will cost us money if we don’t,” he said.
Commissioner Dennis Stapleton said he wants to dispel the notion that the the building at the Elks site will displace the current courthouse.
“I would love to see us lock into a different description of this because it’s not a new courthouse,” he said. “We still have a courthouse. It’s going to be our courthouse and I think the community needs to understand this is a services building.”
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.