Renovation of Swift County’s courthouse likely to go into March

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Swift County’s extensive renovation is now expected to last into March of 2018, a month longer than expected.

While it was originally estimated that county employees would be moving back into the refurbished and remodeled courthouse early in 2018, that deadline has been extended.

It now looks like rather than moving back sometime in mid-February, it could be late March, Administrator Kelsey Baker said at the county board’s Oct. 3 meeting. Delays are due to getting the steel it needs for shoring up the new elevator shaft being installed at the east end of the courthouse and for other projects.

The county had been looking at refinishing the woodwork in the historic building, but the cost has come in too high. The courthouse was built in 1898 and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Baker said the lowest bid for the woodwork was $220,000 – those funds aren’t in the current budget.

So, it is likely the woodwork will be done piece by piece in the coming years with the project starting on the main floor.

All the wood that has been left in place has been covered to protect it from damage. Woodwork that needed to be removed is being stored until it can be reinstalled as the project nears completion.

Work on the Countryside Public Health building in downtown Benson is on schedule.

Swift County staff moved out of its courthouse offices to the former Lewis Drug building on Atlantic Avenue downtown Benson in late June. The move took place place ahead of a $4.5 million renovation of the courthouse.

The move included 30 staff people working in the Swift County Land Records, Auditor, Assessor, Administrator, Emergency Management, Treasurer, Veteran Services, Extension, Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Information Technology, and Rural Development Authority’s (RDA) offices.

Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Dave Mennis and court staff will be moving to space in the basement of the Swift County Law Enforcement Center.

6W Community Corrections moved into the Benson Family Eye building’s south office space.

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners are now meeting in the Benson City Council chambers....


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Pictured:  Swift County’s extensive renovation is now expected to last into March of 2018, a month longer than expected.

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