Rearranging the courthouse

(Posted March 8, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County Court House could be in for reconfiguration of some of its interior spaces, including relocation of one of its departments.

On March 5, Rob Slane, county administrator, shared with the county commissioners ideas for more efficient use of the court house space.

Since adding another probation officer to its staff, the common pleas court is tight on room. The court and associated offices are located on the second floor.

To remedy the situation, Slane recommends giving common pleas the space now occupied by the building and zoning department, and moving building and zoning from the second floor to space in the basement once occupied by Veterans Affairs. The switch would require renovation of the former Veterans Affairs area.

Slane also noted that the juvenile-probate court, also located in the basement, needs more space. With some reconfiguration, two to four more offices could be worked into the floorplan.

“I brought in an architect (to find ways) to maximize the basement space,” he said. “I’m glad I did because he had much better ideas than I did.”

Commissioner David Dhume likes the idea that the building and zoning department would end up located next to the zoning map room, already located in the basement.

“There would be no need (for them) to go up and down, up and down anymore,” he said.

The location also would be more conducive for building and zoning employees to meeting with the public, he added.

Dhume stated that the commissioners have discussed for years the idea that the current building and zoning space would be turned over to common pleas.

“I think it’s admirable that (building and zoning) is willing to make the move,” he said.

Dhume also likes the idea that the changes would better separate juvenile and adult probation processes.

Commissioner Mark Forrest encouraged Slane to put a formal plan together for all of the proposed changes.

Dhume requested that Slane make sure that Eamon Costello, common pleas court judge, and Chris Brown, juvenile-probate judge, are on board with the proposal.

Slane said he would present architectural drawings to the judges and any other department heads whose spaces would be affected by the changes before moving forward with any renovations.

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