- A lot of things need to go right to build a 40,000 square foot addition in just one year. Workers in Vilas County used a fairly mild winter to their advantage to work toward that goal.
Construction on the county courthouse's addition is both on budget and essentially on time. Crews have the drywall up on the second floor and are working to do the same on the first floor. Vilas County Clerk Dave Alleman says a rainy spring held some masonry work up... but nothing crews can't handle.
"Very well disciplined," Alleman said of the workers. "They're working every day, things are being done on time. I think overall that makes for a good project."
Construction started in late August 2016. The original project was set for nearly $10.5 million. But the county freed up more money for tech upgrades,pushing the potential budget to $11.2 million. Alleman looks forward to showing off a completed Phase I in August 2017.
"They can see what they purchased with their tax dollars, but basically we need to get the departments in here and get them busy because our job is to provide public service," Alleman said.
The courthouse addition will put Social and Veterans services, the Commission on Aging, Tourism, and other county departments all in one building again.
The addition basically quadruples the size of the current building. But about 3,600 square feet will largely be left alone. Alleman says that's for any services the county can't predict right now.
"Potentially serve the future needs of Vilas County, hopefully for that hundred years, so that we don't have to have another building project," Alleman said.
Vilas County tried a number of times since the 1990s to build the addition, but it was voted down because of money concerns.
Alleman says a big part of getting this approved was making the addition match the 1936 building as best as possible.
"Actually take that into account to try and make everything flow together into one nice building," Alleman said.