Crawford County Commissioners are confident that crucial courthouse construction can be completed quickly.
County government continues to operate although the courthouse at 903 Diamond Park, Meadville, is closed to the public until October 7. The closure involves the removal of lead paint inside the courthouse as part of a $2.2 million ventilation project.
All affected offices in the courthouse will open Monday morning in new temporary premises. Some offices may have limited in-person access to the public for the next two weeks, but all offices have public access by phone and email, the commissioners said.
Friday was moving day for the offices so they could be ready for Monday morning.
“We haven’t had any problems,” County Commissioner Francis Weiderspahn Jr. said of Friday’s moves by the various offices. “Most were really able to get around themselves – just taking computers, phones and chairs. Fortunately, we did not have to move the offices.
“We’re committed to October 10 — that’s not an option,” County Commissioner Chairman Eric Henry said of the courthouse reopening to the public.
During the two weeks the courthouse is closed, duct work for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is being installed. Much of the work is on the ceiling above the hallway of the main building, but the lead-based paint needs to be removed in some areas where the ductwork will be run, the commissioners said.
Chips of lead paint were found on the inside face of ceiling tiles that needed to be removed during testing, the commissioners said.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, lead-based paint can become dust during building renovations. The dust can then be absorbed by the body and cause health problems.
The offices temporarily moved from Monday to October 7 are listed below with their respective locations. All have full public telephone and email access.
• Election and Voter Services at the Crawford County Public Safety Building, 632 Pine St., Meadville.
• Human Resources, Finance, Treasurer/Tax Claims Office and Public Defender of the Crawford County Judicial Center, 359 E. Center St., Meadville.
• Appraisal, Deeds Registry/Wills Archivist, Planning and Auditors at the Dillon Center, 18360 Technology Drive at Crawford Business Park in Vernon Township.
• Information Technology will distribute staff between the County Judiciary Center and Crawford County Social Services Offices, 18282 Technology Drive, Crawford Business Park.
• Adult probation at its annex building 373 E. Center St., Meadville.
• Maintenance of Crawford County Fairgrounds.
• The three county commissioners: Christopher Soff at public safety, Weiderspahn at the fairgrounds and Henry at the Crawford County Care Center in Saegertown.
Individuals should contact each specific department for additional information or questions about accessibility at the particular office, the commissioners said.