County to Purchase Former Bank Building
Left, Portage Co. leaders have made an offer on a former bank building located near the annex building. (City-Times photo)
By Jacob Mathias
Portage County is primed to add another building to its portfolio.
The building formerly occupied by the Noel Learning Center- and most recently Associated Bank- is located adjacent to the County Annex Building at 1039 Ellis Street.
Portage County Executive Patty Dreier said the purchase of the 3- story building may be complete sometime in June with a total cost estimate not exceeding $1.9 million.
The purchase of the new building helps ensure one goal of the county’s labored Master Strategic Plan, which calls for having “flexible and functional county facilities”. Dreier, who has consistently promoted the idea of said having another building to temporarily house county offices would be necessary for updating existing county space.
“We’re trying to do a better job of working within the space we have and ensuring that we’re also able to adapt to what’s coming,” said Dreier. “But the only way that you can really do (the updates) without disrupting the whole of work is to get people out of areas so you can do the work.”
Overall the county’s facilities are aging and need extensive updates. The Portage County Health Care Center has been under a microscope recently for outdated systems, and the courthouse needs around $2 million in HVAC updates as well as work on the elevator.
The building could also be used long-term as a new location for the Portage County Jail, according to the Portage County Public Safety Committee Chairman Don Jankowski.
County leaders have for years sparred over whether to build a new jail but Jankowski said it’s time to make future plans for the jail a priority.
Whether or not the Ellis Street property is used as a jail, it could help bring Dreier’s “campus concept” to fruition, bringing all county offices to the downtown area.