The Delaware County Board of Commissioners approved the first step in the renovation of the historical courthouse at the corner of Sandusky Street and Central Avenue Thursday by approving a contract with Schooley Caldwell for architectural and design work.
“They’ll come in first to do the physical assessment of the building, verify the program needs for what is planned to go in, and do the conceptual design,” said Jon Melvin, the county’s director of facilities.
As part of the county’s master plan, the historic courthouse would house the commissioners’ office, human resources department, economic development department and Veterans Service Commission.
Commissioners voted to accept the facilities master plan during a regular session in October 2017.
Melvin said the master plan is a “broad look” due to expanding the renovation to include the county law library and the Fifth District Court of Appeals that are currently housed in the historic jail.
According to a historical marker, the cornerstone of the foundation was laid in May of 1868, and the building “was ready for occupancy in January of 1870.”
Commissioners authorized Melvin on Feb. 26 to publish a legal notice to sell the historic jail and former sheriff’s residence located behind the historic courthouse at 20 W. Central Ave.
According to the National Archives Catalog, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 12, 1990.
Melvin said Schooley Caldwell’s timeline on the project is to have conceptual designs done by June, construction documents completed by October, and the project out to bid in November. Construction is expected to start in January 2019.
“They are ready to mobilize as soon as the contract is approved,” he said. “I do think that’s a little bit of conservative schedule not knowing the full scope of the construction documents they have to develop depending on how intensely we renovate the building.”
Melvin said Schooley Caldwell anticipates it will take nine months to complete the construction once started.
“Again, a conservative schedule not knowing how intensely we’re going to renovate. If we do lighter renovations, not needing to do so much, maybe reusing the elevator shaft or maybe expand it would really determine that final schedule,” he said. “On the county’s part, we’ll work with them to help expedite this.”
In an earlier report, Melvin said the estimated completion date for the project would be somewhere in early 2019.