Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Changing spaces

Commissioners’ room and clerk’s office undergoing overhaul


November 21, 2019

The space that only a couple of weeks ago accommodated the regular monthly meeting of the county commissioners has now been stripped to its guts – the first step in a project that will completely overhaul the room and also includes changes to the space occupied by the county clerk and her staff.

Eventually, says County Clerk Linda Fritz, the renovation will provide more room for the public when in attendance at county meetings; more document storage for the commissioners; an overhauled area for the public to access county records; and an office space for the county clerk herself.

The renovation has been made possible through technology – specifically, through an ongoing project within the clerk’s office to digitize as many records as possible. The removal of a number of physical documents from the vault area behind the main office has made it possible to plunder some of that space for other purposes.

“Now was the time to do it, when the whole vault in the back room was changing,” says Fritz, explaining that, instead of shelves containing document books, the vault will now host computer desks at which the public can search through records.

The first step of the project will be to renovate the commissioners’ room, which Maintenance Foreman Larry Schommer began last week. The room will now be slightly bigger, because the wall has been knocked down to encompass the corridor that ran behind the room.

This adds more square footage, which means it will be possible to add document storage for the commissioners – something they have not had up until now.

“The room needed to be bigger to accommodate larger meetings. It also needed more functionality,” says Fritz.

“There will be more room for people to sit. Sometimes, though it’s not that often, it gets overloaded in there. The commissioners will also be able to get out at each side of their table, because until now they couldn’t even get out without making somebody else move.”

This part of the project is expected to be complete at the beginning of next year. At that point, said Fritz, she and her staff will move their operations into the new room temporarily.

Work will then begin in the clerk’s office to knock through the concrete and create a second door. This will lead to a new 100-square-foot office space for the clerk – another facility that has not existed in the past.

“The clerk only had 49 square feet – it was the only elected that didn’t have their own office,” Fritz says.

Because enlarging the commissioners’ room took away some of the storage space used by the clerk, this will now also be housed in the back vault area.

The location that will be used for the January meeting of the commissioners has yet to be decided.


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