Partnership eyed for courthouse annex

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The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners plans to enter a public-private partnership to build a courthouse annex.

County leaders first announced in January that offices would be consolidated into a new building to make room for storing public records. A committee of elected and appointed officials has been looking at ways to digitize more of the county’s documents.

The annex will provide about 40,000-square-feet of office space for up to 60 employees, according to a description of the project. On Tuesday, the commissioners issued a request for proposals for the design, construction and financing of the annex.

In the proposed partnership, a private company would purchase the land or improvements, which the county would take ownership of and cover the costs.

Once proposals are submitted by late March, a selection committee will evaluate the bids and select up to three companies to be interviewed, according to a timeline set by the county.

The committee will make a recommendation to the commissioners by early April. A company is due to be selected in May if the board agrees to review the proposals.

Space in county offices has been a years-long issue. The county is required by law to store hundreds of years worth of payroll records and other permanent documents. Some offices have digitized most of their paperwork, while older files are being stored in the courthouse basement.

The annex will have storage areas along with a large public meeting room, office suites and conference rooms, according to the project scope.

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