After a year of construction, remodeling at the La Plata County Courthouse is nearing completion, and the new space is expected to be occupied and open for business Tuesday.
Work began in February 2016 on the 16,000-square-foot renovation at 1060 East Second Ave. to make way for the district attorney’s office and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Probation and Marshal’s offices.
County attorneys also will vacate rented space in the Crossroads building on Main Avenue and move into the courthouse. Their offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for the move.
Remodeling is not finished for the 6th Judicial District Attorneys offices, which will stay at the Old Main Post Office until spring.
“That’s the last part we have to complete, and that will be finished in May,” General Services Director Mark McKibben said. “But the rest of the offices are ready.”
McKibben did not have a final estimate for the project on Tuesday, but anticipated costs will be right at the $5 million county commissioners unanimously approved last year.
A $1.9 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs helped cover the costs.
The county is obligated by law to provide space for 6th Judicial District offices, and the U.S. General Services Administration has increased staffing by more than 30 percent over the past decade, consequently increasing the need for more room.
U.S. General Services struck an agreement with the county in 2015 to move federal courts into the county courthouse.
County officials supported the project as one that makes use of existing space and will vitalize the downtown economy by bringing federal courts out of their former Bodo Industrial Park offices.
Federal courts will pay the county per square foot for a 10-year lease. McKibben said he would have an estimate on the amount this week.
Electronic court dockets have been installed on the building’s main floor. Other renovations include upgraded sprinkler and heating/cooling systems and a new accessible entryway, just south of the existing entrance, that will provide more standing room and better security.
Years ago, the 70,000-square-foot building housed La Plata County administration, the Sheriff’s Office and jail before staff outgrew the space. Courtrooms are now where the board of county commissioners once convened.
“We’re looking forward to having this done,” Commissioner Brad Blake said.
email@example.comThis story has been updated to correct the grant amount received from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and to correct the title of the U.S. General Services Administration.