New Courthouse Will Be 2-Story, With Basement
By Mike Scott
“We’re at a stage in the project where we need a decision,” Eric Westhues of Connell Architecture told the Clark County Courthouse Committee members last Tuesday evening, June 22.
“We want the biggest possible building for the budget, and we can have a larger building without a basement,” added Westhues.
He presented two options, both offering 24,000 square feet. Option 1 had 8000 square feet in a basement and two stories, while Option 2 has 12000 square feet on two stories on a slab. The building without a basement would appear larger, and have a larger footprint
Committee member Chuck Braxton questioned the size of the proposal, noting that last June, the committee was shown plans for a 26,000 square foot structure.
“I don’t understand why were now looking at a smaller building. That’s not what we went to the voters for,” Braxton said.
Westhues pointed to several items that were not in the previous estimates. The smaller building would cost approximately $250,000 less.
The committee reviewed the proposed budget allowances, suggesting changes to fund the larger building. Among the suggestions were reducing the amount of the furnishings budget to $50,000, a move that would save $150,000 by itself. Several smaller possible expense reductions were identified, and Westhues agreed that they could probably come up with enough cuts to build the 26,000 square foot building.
Committee Chairman Shawn McAfee recommended building a two-story building over a basement, and a straw poll of those attending overwhelmingly agreed.