At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the board discussed details and directions for the remodeling and expansion of the Story County Attorney Office.
Outgrowing its present space and looking to ensure safety for attorney office employees, and the victims and witnesses they work with, the plan is to increase space in the county attorney’s office from 3,000 square feet to 4,800 square feet.
The expansion project will also give more adequate work space to the county attorney’s staff, which includes 15 attorneys (including County Attorney Jessica Reynolds), 10 staff members and five interns. The office staff has grown over the past 10 years so that it can better handle an increasing caseload and the seriousness of crimes that Story County prosecutes.
In September, developers and the county’s facility management department were given direction for additions in the project’s schematic design from District 2 Court Administrator Scott Hand, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.
Included in the request was a separation of the court and county employees in the building, changes to jury rooms to allow for more comfortable space for 13 jurors, for jurors to access to two restrooms when a trial is in session, an addition of an elevator with second-floor access and a remodel of the law library into conference space that can be used for depositions, mediation and other meetings.
Jeff Harris, an architect with RMH Architects, presented a cost estimate of $100,000 to $120,000 for the elevator and entrance.
According to preliminary floor plans presented Tuesday, the first-floor layout includes private, secured entrances for county employees with access to two first-floor courtrooms, due to the renovation of the juvenile courtroom.
Second-floor plans proposed two sets of meeting rooms used for meetings and other matters.
Currently, the juvenile courtroom on the lower level of the Justice Center is right next to the attorney’s office.
Behind the courtroom are several offices and a set of private restrooms, which is not in the attorney’s office and above the courtroom is an identical courtroom and a previously unused work area, as well as the unused law library.
The Story County Attorney’s office also has space in Ames at the City Hall facility and the expansion of the office in Nevada will allow for two attorneys who have worked in Ames to relocate to Nevada, Reynolds said in August.