Meadville Tribune

Local News

May 13, 2014

Courthouse expansion cost is $21 million according to architect estimate

MEADVILLE — Architect Richard Speicher of the Erie office of Weber Murphy Fox presented preliminary block diagrams to Crawford County commissioners at their work session Tuesday morning, detailing a two-building plan for new administrative offices and a projected expansion at the cost of about $21 million for the Crawford County Courthouse.

The plan involves demolition of the current sheriff’s house and jail to make room for a two-story addition to the courthouse, potentially increasing capacity for judicial functions in close proximity.

North from there, across East Center Street, the plan calls for the construction of a three-story building to house administrative offices, adjacent to current parking lots.

Facilities most utilized by the public will comprise the administrative building’s ground floor, according to Speicher.

Both prospective buildings are likely to have the option for potential expansion in the future, he said.

Speicher estimated construction costs at approximately $21 million at this point, a cost he believes will be substantially cheaper, by several million, than alternative plans involving the Talon building or rehabilitation of the current courthouse.

Part of what drives certain factors, including larger spaces or different configurations, is what the county judiciary will recommend or sign off on, according to Jack Lynch, county commissioner.

Francis Weiderspahn Jr., commissioner chairman, said this was the first time the administration and courts were on the same page regarding the courthouse construction plan.

No timetable for approvals was released at the work session, but Weiderspahn mentioned the possibility of future public meetings regarding the project.

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