A little over two years from now, you might be going to the 1891 Courthouse to see the Pinal County Board of Supervisors in session.
The Supervisors, by acclamation, approved a plan that would rehabilitate the stately structure to accommodate the board and other county operations.
In a feasibility study presented to the supervisors, County Manager Fritz Behring said the 1891 Courthouse’s rehabilitation and improvement would cost as much as $6 million.
This new course of action replaces an earlier decision to build a 10,000-square-foot building to house the county’s human resources department as well as the remodeling of Administration Building A to accommodate two more supervisors and staff. The anticipated cost of the earlier project was $3.2 million. The 1891 Courthouse, currently vacant, consists of 22,449 square feet of space.
“For an additional $2.8 million of one-time money,” the county manager said, “we can take care of the space needs identified by the board as we’ll preserve a landmark facility for the county.”
By law, the board of supervisors will need to expand to a five-member board based on population data from the 2010 Census. The current administration building does not contain the necessary office space for the new officials.
Board Chairman Pete Rios said he appreciated hearing the idea about using existing space.
“I like what I have heard,” Rios said. “I think there is a lot of merit to this idea. This will mean one less building we will have to maintain. The courthouse will be a point of pride for Pinal County.”
District 2 Supervisor Bryan Martyn said he was a proponent of using the courthouse before he was elected to office.
“This will be a terrific asset for economic development,” Martyn said. “I would like to see us proceed with the plan and look to other grants and partnerships to help us with the costs.”
District 3 Supervisor David Snider was employed by the City of Casa Grande when it remodeled the old high school for its governmental complex. The supervisor was pleased to see the project come to the table.
“I think with the state’s centennial coming up in 2012, this is particularly timely that we take this action,” Snider said. “The bottom line is that I think it’s a project we should pursue.”