Clarion County offices’ move underway

The move is on in Clarion County.

Commissioner Wayne Brosius, during Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, provided an update on the relocation of county offices to the Clarion County Complex (the former Sorce building) in Shippenville.

“It is going well,” he said. “Monday the Tax Claims Office, Assessment, and Tuesday the Planning Department is moving. Next week, it will be the courts and the Sheriff’s Department.”

Due to the renovation effort at the Clarion County Courthouse, the majority of county offices will move to the complex and one will move to the Human Services building.

The plan is for all county offices to be moved by early April. County employees are using county-owned vehicles to make the move. The offices are scheduled to remain in their temporary locations for about one year.

The Court of Common Pleas will be located in the complex’s large meeting room. Access will be in the rear, or east side, of the building. Partition walls have been built to separate the courtroom from other offices.

The Sheriff’s Office will be located immediately inside the entrance, on the east side of the building. During the commissioners meeting, the board unanimously approved a letter of support for a modernization project for the Sheriff’s Department that includes a new security scanner for use at the complex.

The move might affect service in some departments. Retired Register and Recorder Greg Mortimer said in some cases it could take a day to retrieve requested documents.

Other county offices will be placed in the drive-through area at the complex. Entry to all of the offices will be in the rear of the complex.

The GIS department will be located in the Human Services building (the former Clarion Hospital) due to connectivity issues.

The renovation project includes installation of a new heating and cooling system, and the remodeling of the courthouse basement. Total cost of the renovation is expected to be about $3 million. Brosius last month said the work would be paid for through several grants and county funds.

In November, the county was awarded a $900,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) for rehabilitation of the courthouse.

In the grant description, RACP said the project will entail comprehensive renovations to the ground level of the courthouse to house the Domestic Relations Department and the county’s computer servers, along with upgrades to the facility to ensure government functions can continue during power outages and other emergency conditions.

Activities to be undertaken, according to the grant announcement, include demolition, framing, plumbing upgrades, HVAC upgrades, electrical upgrades, and final finish. In addition, a fresh-air intake will be installed to allow for increased airflow throughout the ground level.