Work gathering information and putting together concepts for the Miami County Courthouse Plaza project will move forward even though the county’s request for money in the next state capital budget was not successful.
The county commissioners met April 3 with representatives of Garmann-Miller Architects and Engineers of Minster to discuss the next steps in the process of putting together a project plan. The commissioners earlier agreed that some portions of the project would need to go forward whether or not the $1.5 million in state capital budget funds was approved.
The most frequently mentioned needed project is replacing the plaza’s pavers and small steps that have led to numerous falls on the plaza over the years.
The biggest issue in that area of the plaza is settling of pavers in part due to leaking pipes underground, said Chris Johnson, county director of operations and facilities. The area underneath the plaza also includes old tunnels.
Commission President John “Bud” O’Brien said the source of project funds remains undetermined but possibly could include a request again for capital budget dollars in two years when the next program would be funded.
The next steps in the project will be bringing in surveyors to gather data on the plaza area and talking with the local historical society about its members thoughts due to the location on the plaza of the 1880s county Courthouse in addition to the 1970s Safety Building to the east. Those projects will be coordinated by Chris Garman and Kathy Trejo of Garmann-Miller.
Among other plaza features to be studied are the plaza light fixtures, two fountains built from pillars of the old county jail that was located on the site and concrete planters built at the north and south ends of the plaza near the Safety Building. The plaza also is home to the Miami County Law Enforcement Memorial and memorial trees.
Trejo said different concepts from minimal to extreme will be drawn up for review and adjustments by the commission.
The commissioners earlier this year hired Garmann-Miller for $80,000 for a project study and $40,000 for a preliminary design phase.