By 1812Blockhouse

The Richland County Commissioners have initiated a significant renovation project funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), marking the final piece of the puzzle for improvements to the Richland County Courthouse. In a session attended by Engineer Greg Christie, the board awarded the project to Maurer Architectural Design Studio, with engineer Craig Christie on hand to provide detailed insights.

Comprehensive Overhaul Across All Floors

The renovation will impact all five floors of the building, with a primary focus on floor L1. The Richland County Landbank and County Adult Probation offices, both located on L1, will see substantial upgrades. The Landbank office, which hosts public meetings, will receive a significant increase in meeting space to accommodate larger audiences. Similarly, the County Adult Probation office, known for its professional and diligent team, will benefit from increased space and functionality, allowing for more effective training sessions.

A primary objective has been to enhance functionality, make the building more accessible to the public, and improve customer service experiences while maximizing the efficiency of operations for the offices,” it was shared.

Modernizing Public Facilities

In addition to office upgrades, the project includes improvements to nine public restrooms throughout the building. Many of these spaces have decor dating back over 50 years, necessitating both cosmetic and functional updates. Common areas and corridors will also be renovated, providing a more modern and welcoming environment for both employees and visitors.

Detailed Project Specifications

Craig Christie provided detailed information on the scope of the renovation:

  • Total Renovation Area: Approximately 10,564 square feet. The land bank represents 2,126 square feet and the adult probation training area another 1,100 square feet. Restrooms would be updated on all five floors.
  • Construction Budget: Just under $2.4 million
  • Project Timeline: Completion by the end of 2026
  • Design work: Set at $189,000

The contract includes full services, covering all three phases of design, public bidding, and construction administration meetings. Although a precise timeline is yet to be determined, the project aims to have a construction contract in place by the end of the year.

Approval and Excitement

The project received unanimous approval. “This is exciting and long overdue,” one commissioner commented. Another added, “As Landbank members, Cliff and I are excited about the new space. It’s a significant improvement for everyone involved.”

Future Steps and Ongoing Work

Discussion also touched on the status of work on floor L2, which looks promising and is expected to be completed between mid to late August, pending the delivery of an air handler. The board emphasized their commitment to transparency and efficiency throughout the project, inviting members of the public to preview the ongoing work.

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