Plans to begin pursuing a major addition to a portion of the St. Joseph County Courthouse were approved Tuesday by members of the county commission.
The idea calls for a two-story addition to the west side of the current courts building. Each floor of the proposed rectangular-shaped addition would exceed more than 7,000 square feet and be designated for circuit, family and district courts, the prosecutor’s office and the county clerk’s district court office.
County administrator Pat Yoder said the proposal of an addition was the result of a recommendation from the county’s physical resources committee, whose members agreed the concept makes the most sense financially and from a practicality standpoint.
Yoder said a new courts building would resolve years of complaints regarding air-circulation issues, a stuffy environment and other interior problems with the current courts building portion of the St. Joseph County Courthouse. The addition was put into service in 1974.
Yoder said when the time comes to let bids on the proposed project, a stipulation will be added, asking the winning bidder to create an exterior appearance uniform with the historic courthouse.