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Architect hired for county renovation plans

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MEDINA — Medina County commissioners hired a Cleveland architect Tuesday to draw up plans to renovate several buildings and accommodate the county’s expansion goals.

James R. Duber, of StudioTechne Architects, will assess the long-term goals of the county and the courthouse expansion plan.

StudioTechne will be paid $35,700. The fee will be based on providing professional services for the renovation of five different spaces in three different buildings. A budget also will be established.

Studio Techne’s work will be part of Phase I of the county’s master plan. This phase will include relocating several offices and purchasing Courthouse Commons, 60 Public Square, which the county is in the process of buying. Owners Mark Dorman and Tracy Green have been asking $1.6 million for the building.

Phase I would include moving the county prosecutor’s office to the second floor of Courthouse Commons.

The prosecutor’s office on the second floor of 72 Public Square would become home to the adult probation offices, which now are housed in the basement of the courthouse.

In a previous Gazette story, county Administrator Scott Miller said the Adult Probation Department has run out of room.

“The working conditions are abysmal,” he said. “We have probation officers sharing offices. There are also safety issues. There are compliance issues with confidentiality.

“We need to find a different location.”

The basement of 72 Public Square would be renovated to accommodate the public defender’s office and/or mediation, which now are in the Professional Building, 120 W. Washington St., which Miller said the county hopes to sell.

Phase I also would include renovating an adding to the atrium between the courthouse and prosecutor’s office to create a security checkpoint for both buildings, and renovating the basements of 93/99 Public Square courthouse complex to accommodate the civil division, now in the basement of the prosecutor’s office, and storage of files.

Part II would cover bids, permits and construction, with fees to be determined.

The courthouse expansion will be discussed at a joint meeting between county commissioners and Medina City Council at 6 p.m. Monday at city hall.

“It will give us options on how we can consolidate county operations into fewer facilities,” Miller said. “It will give us a good understanding of our capital costs in the future.”

Commissioner Bill Hutson, head of the facilities committee, said the county must figure out how to use the space it has and how it can be best used.

“It doesn’t make sense maintaining things that are ancient dinosaurs,” he said.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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