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Monroe officials looking into courthouse renovations

T-L File Photo Monroe County commissioners are working toward renovating some offices inside the courthouse as well as possibly utilizing the prosecutor’s front door as a main entrance to the building. The prosecutor’s office is currently located to the left of the former front entrance of the courthouse. The only entrance to the facility is through a side door in the alleyway due to it being handicap accessible.

WOODSFIELD — Now that the Monroe County Ohio State University Extension office has moved into its new facility, commissioners are looking to renovate its former office space in the courthouse and to possibly create a new front entrance for the building.

Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher said discussions are underway on potential renovations of a couple offices located on the main floor of the courthouse that previously were filled by OSU Extension staff. The extension office moved into its new facility at the fairgrounds in March, freeing up the space in the courthouse.

Schumacher said the prosecutor’s office may move into the former extension office, located across the hall, but first the offices need a little fixing up.

“The carpets are stained and worn. All the units up against the wall scratched the walls, so it’s a lot easier to fix it before anyone gets in there,” he said.

The plan is to move the prosecutor’s office into the former extension offices. This would free up the current prosecutor’s offices, which have a door on the front of the courthouse. Schumacher said they hope to make that door the new front entrance.

“So we can get off the alley. That way it’s already handicap accessible. We can put the deputies and the security in part of that there,” he added.

Currently the Monroe County Courthouse utilizes a side door located on an alleyway as its entrance point. The former front entrance was closed years ago due to it not being handicap accessible. Additionally, Schumacher said two deputies must be stationed inside the main entrance for security reasons, and it would be cost prohibitive to have to pay double the deputies at both doorways. The former front entrance is currently roped off with a sign pointing to the side entrance.

“Hopefully that will change once we get the prosecutor’s office moved,” he said.

If a new front entrance is established, the current entrance in the alleyway would be used to transport prisoners to and from court.

Schumacher said they have had architects look at the project several times in the past.

“Though until OSU (Extension office) was ready to move, we really couldn’t do anything,” he said. “We’re just looking at the option.”

Another potential addition is the creation of a new space for a meeting room for attorneys and clients.

“The county court is right beside that (former extension office), and they currently don’t have a place where an attorney and client can meet in privacy. There was a door into that room that got drywalled over, so we were thinking about opening up a meeting room in that space for attorneys and clients for county court. There are lots of nuances it’ll take to get this all pulled together,” he said.

Schumacher said they are looking into the matter now. No timeframe has yet been established for the project.

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