The Marathon County Board of Supervisors takes another step forward in their efforts to renovate the county courthouse and jail. Although renovations to the courthouse and jail may be years away, the board is narrowing down building proposals now.
The County Board heard three different building concepts for the courthouse Thursday night, effectively narrowing their options down to two top schemes.
The first option is to build everything at the courthouse's current location. There are two possible building plans for this option, but both would require adding additional stories to the court building and adding a new 2 story jail.
The other option would have all secure departments at the renovated original courthouse location and all other departments requiring less security at another location entirely.
County Administrator Brad Karger says it's crucial to start planning now.
"If we know in advance that we have property needs, maybe we can find the opportune time to either buy an option on the property or to actually purchase the property so that we have the land available for the expansion plan we think is best," Karger told NewsChannel 7.
The two location option is the more expensive of the two, estimated to cost close to $85 million versus the single location plan which is estimated to cost near $71 million.
Karger says that when the time is right, construction will begin in stages. What gets renovated first will depend on if space at neighboring jails runs out before or after a new judge is added to the county roster. Either way, Karger said not to expect any changes within the next five years.