A Defiance County office renovation project is moving along slowly, but steadily.
The work began modestly in May at the Defiance County commissioners’ 500 Court St. offices, when a carpet upgrade was undertaken. However, when the carpet was removed, workers discovered a boring beetle in the wood floors beneath.
A complete renovation wasn’t the initial plan, but commissioners decided to proceed after an exterminator cleared the beetle infestation and recommended replacing more wood throughout the offices just to be sure. A complete renovation — primarily undertaken by the county’s maintenance staff — then followed from floor to ceiling.
Commissioners relocated their offices to the county-owned KeyBank building at 414 W. Second St. so the project could proceed, and may be there for another five to six weeks. (The building is shared with KeyBank which rents space there from the county.)
According to the county’s maintenance supervisor, Ron Cereghin, the renovation should be completed “hopefully” by mid-January.
At present, maintenance staff is painting, he explained, while drywall work — provided by a contractor — may be completed this week. Thereafter, the project will be finished off with carpet tile in most areas and ceramic tile in the bathrooms and other spots, while ceiling tile will be installed as well.
County Finance Manager/Administrator Sherry Carnahan provided a project cost estimate of $140,000, a figure kept down with county maintenance staff doing most of the work.
“County crews did a great job,” said Commissioner Gary Plotts. “County employees saved us a bunch of money.”
Although Plotts said a complete renovation was not part of the original plan, the work was “well overdue” because the offices were “outdated” and “the floor plan didn’t work,” with persons who attended commissioner meetings walking through a work area for secretaries.
“Now we have an actual lobby,” he said.
Some contractors for drywall work, electrical installation and plumbing work have been employed on the project as well. A contractor also has constructed a bench that occupies a corner of a new conference room where commissioners will hold their public meetings.
In all, the offices will have 13 renovated rooms, including restrooms, according to Cereghin.
The offices are located on the east end of a county-owned building near the intersection of First Street and Wayne Avenue in downtown Defiance. The same building is also home to a number of other county offices, including the county prosecutor and county engineer.