Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Commission approves courthouse renovations

August 8, 2001

A plan for renovating the Leavenworth County Courthouse has been approved by the Leavenworth County Commissioners, although final plans have not yet been finished.

In April, the Leavenworth County Commission unanimously passed a motion for Shaugnessy, Fickle and Scott, an architecture firm, to complete an architectural survey and bid documents for the courthouse. As part of the motion, the firm also surveyed supervisors within the courthouse to outline needs of each department.

On Monday, Aug. 6, the County Commission gave the firm the go-ahead in preparing designs for courthouse renovations.

Commissioner Joe Daniels said the firm is making changes to preliminary plans and further changes should be expected.

"Nothing is settled yet," Daniels said. "We are still making changes to the plans."

A target date for the finalization of renovation plans and a date to begin construction have not yet been set.

The renovations will cost approximately $1.2 million, Daniels said.

Daniels said it remains unclear exactly where the funds for the renovation will come from. Funds from the mill levy or special bonds could be used, Daniels said.

One of the main concerns in renovating the building was finding more office space for the departments that are housed in the courthouse.

Another reason for renovating the building was finding enough space for a County Commission meeting room, offices for the commissioners and an area to conduct executive sessions.

Plans also include adding a staircase from the first to the third floor as well improvements to the floors, ceilings and some of the bathrooms, Daniels said. Bathrooms in the courthouse will also have to be made handicap accessible, he said.

The courthouse, which was built in 1911, is on the National Historical Register, so any improvements to the building would have to be made without compromising that status, Daniels said.

Firm representatives indicated that any plans for renovating the building would avoid changing the original architecture of the building. The firm will also consult the Leavenworth Historical Society before making any changes.

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