Commissioners discuss plaza project

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — At their meeting Tuesday, the Miami County Commissioners approved contracts and met with representatives from Garmann Miller Architects and Engineers to discuss the courthouse plaza renovation project.

According to Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien, the project to renovate the plaza area between the courthouse and the Safety Building, which dates back to the 1970s, did not receive funding from the state. He said the design phase will give the board a better idea of the scope and cost of the project so that they can continue to plan. He added that the county will continue to look at other ways to fund the project.

The commissioners last month awarded a contract to Garmann Miller Architects to come up with designs that address the uneven walkway, issues with fountain drainage and the outdated lighting in the plaza.

The company is working on preliminary studies of the plaza, utilities and tunnels surrounding the courthouse.

The contract was broken down into $80,000 for the study and schematic design phase, $40,000 for the design development phase, and $10,000 for reimbursable expenses. The contract also includes an 8.5 percent of construction cost fee for the development of any construction documents.

Garmann Miller representatives said Tuesday that they will try to narrow it down to three concepts to show the board.

The commissioners and engineers discussed what’s under the plaza, which includes utilities and several tunnels. A tunnel between the Safety Building and the old power plant collapsed many years ago, Director of Operations and Facilities Chris Johnson said. Other tunnels appear to be stable, he added.

They also discussed ideas for the appearance of the plaza, including the positives and negatives of green space rather than concrete and an alternative to the planters on the plaza. Clerk Leigh Williams also suggested trying to make pathways to the entrances of the courthouse more obvious.

In other business, the board approved a contract with Dr. William Cole for medical services to the county jail and incarceration facility at $34,314 per year.

The commissioners also approved the $13,095 purchase of new hazmat equipment, including metering equipment and protective clothing.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at