2011-12-29 / Letters to the Editor

Let’s Be Good Stewards

Dear Editor,

I was wondering why we can’t utilize the old National Guard armory building for more than storage and a place to house the county service officer’s office? The armory is very large and has many prospects if the community would get behind this idea we could save many taxpayer dollars. I’m not a contractor or construction person, I’m just trying to make use of what we have. I believe Judge Frank Nardi has said that we need an additional court in the county. The armory would be an ideal location with ample space for three courtrooms and office space for the prosecutor and his staff.

These are my thoughts to accomplish this. The gym floor could have three separate courtrooms built on it, going north and south with chambers for the judges on the south side of each courtroom. A second floor could be installed above the courtroom and the prosecutor could have offices in this area. The top floor could extend all the way to the second floor of the armory and these offices could also be used. A handicap ramp could be installed along the north outside wall of the armory from east to west going to the northwest corner door to the gym. Then a handicap ramp could be built up to the second floor over the courtrooms. The windows inside the gym could be closed up which would also save on heat and cooling costs. Utilities are already in the building and could be connected to the new offices. Also the county owns the lot south of the Extension Office and that could be made into a paved parking lot.

I feel like we have many good contractors in the area. You would not need a roof, the foundation, excavating, flooring for courtrooms, and exterior walls. I don’t know the rules for getting permits to do this, but if we did everything locally it would be cheaper and create money back into the local community. If you hire a big city engineer to draw up the plans he would charge a bunch and contractors would charge Indianapolis price. A local contractor would probably allow designing as part of the construction cost. They may even use local contractors for heating and cooling, electric, and buy materials locally.

I believe that if I was a county commissioner I would be looking for some way to utilize this building. I would not be shutting the heat and water off in parts of the building as this will cause the building to deteriorate. I would be asking for a bond to pay for this with a 20-year payback. I’m sure there are many good reasons to do this but let’s do something as this is not being good stewards of our county resources.

Mike Harvey


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