Courthouse move expected in May
As the exterior of the Morgan County Courthouse moves swiftly toward completion, work continues inside to prepare for the long-awaited move of county offices into the building.
County officials said May 7 is the occupancy date for the courthouse, but caution that date is subject to change. They anticipate each of the county offices will need to close for one day when they physically move their furniture, files and equipment.
Estimates for moving county files into the new courthouse range from $7,100 for county employees to pack, move and unpack themselves to $13,000 - $18,000 for a moving company to do the work.
In addition, it will cost $56,000 for a moving company to break down, move and reassemble all the furniture for the new courthouse. That figure includes the cost of new office furniture.
Who goes where?
The layout of county offices in the new building remains similar to the original plans presented by architects Silling & Associates.
The 17,500-sq.-ft. first floor will hold the offices of the County Commission, County Clerk, Sheriff’s Tax Office and Assessor. At this time, the plan calls for one office to be shared by the three commissioners.
The 15,000-sq.-ft. second floor will house the offices of the county’s Magistrates, the Magistrate courtroom, Family Court and Probation.
The 13,415-sq.-ft. third floor will contain the offices of the Circuit Clerk and Prosecuting Attorney, plus the Circuit courtroom.
County officials say they have yet to determine if the Sheriff’s Law office will move from their current location at the Rescue Squad into the Magistrate Court building once that structure is empty.
Recently, several contracts have been awarded to service providers who will equip the new courthouse.
Alarm monitoring will be performed by the Access company at the rate of $64 per month.
Fibernet will supply phone service in the building, for approximately $640 per month. Fibernet will also provide internet service for county offices for roughly $315 per month.
CommLink Systems of Hagerstown, Maryland will provide telephone equipment in the new courthouse — 30 phone lines, 95 digital phones and 12 analog ports — for $33,705.
During a recent commission meeting, county officials agreed to set aside a portion of their hospital sale proceeds for future courthouse maintenance costs.
The commissioners will put $5,000 a month into a separate account for building maintenance. Those funds will come from the $57,200 monthly rent Valley Health is paying for the use of the current hospital building.
Those payments will stop once the new hospital is built, sometime in 2012.
September grand opening
A grand opening ceremony for the county courthouse is planned for September, officials said.
The county is still seeking designs for a county flag that will fly in front of the building, along with the American and state flags. The deadline for the contest is June 1.