Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Plans to renovate part of courthouse progressing

October 17, 2001

Architects working on plans for renovation of the Leavenworth County Courthouse last week got the green light to proceed with a portion of the project.

Leavenworth County Commissioners, on a 3-0 vote, asked Shaughnessy, Fickel and Scott Architects of Kansas City, Mo., to:

Design stairways in the northwest and southeast corners of the building. The new stairs are required for fire escape routes.

Design and provide cost estimates on renovated space on the west end of the second floor. Plans call for the county appraiser's office to move into that space.

Design and provide cost estimates on an upgraded heating, ventilation and cooling system for the courthouse.

Space on the second floor of the 90-year-old structure became available about a year ago, when the county attorney's office and Leavenworth County District Court moved to the new Justice Center.

Ultimate plans call for a $1.1 million renovation of the courthouse that would be completed in several phases.

One issue that commissioners wrestled with during last week's meeting with architects was where to install the two stairways. Ideally, said Commissioner Joe Daniels Jr., they would be an addition to the existing structure, as a space-saving measure.

"I'd like to hang onto every usable space that we have," he said. "Over a period of years, we're going to need that space."

The two stairways would use about 500 square feet of space. Moving them to the exterior of the building also would require matching the courthouse's stone exterior.

Don Navinsky, commission chairman, said the cost would be prohibitive.

So commissioners agreed the stairs would be constructed on the interior of the building.

As part of the long-range plan, the commission hopes to:

Move county commission offices and meeting rooms to the east side of the second floor.

Expand these offices on the main floor: county clerk, county treasurer, register of deeds and county counselor at-large.

Expand these offices on the lower level: emergency management, planning and zoning, information systems, public works and human resources.

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