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Pleasing plaza: County shows off new offices during open house

Donna Daniels

The doors opened on Garfield County’s brand new office building Thursday.

Although it was not officially open for business, the four-story, 23,000-square foot, $4.9 million Courthouse Plaza was unveiled to the public during an open house hosted by the county commissioners.

The building opens for business Monday.

While computers were hooked up in most of the offices, few files were in evidence. The bulk of the moving will take place over the weekend, said county commissioner John Martin, who led a tour of the building.

As the new municipal and county complex takes shape on the west end of Eighth Street in downtown Glenwood Springs, the new replaces the old but does not forget history.

Courthouse Plaza stands on the site of the county’s first courthouse, built in the late 1800s.

Roy Stachnik sold the property and plans for the building to the county for $500,000 last year. Much like the new jail and City Hall across the street, Courthouse Plaza is faced with buff-colored brick accented with man-made stone and Illinois limestone.

The first floor houses the county commissioners’ offices. Their meeting room is just inside the front doors, right off the street.

The commissioners will face the door and their public.

“A good cowboy always has his back to the wall,” Martin said.

Also on the first floor is the finance department.

On the second floor are the offices of the building and planning department. Director of building and planning Mark Bean has a choice corner office overlooking the roofs of downtown Glenwood.

All the offices are furnished with attractive modular work spaces.

Planning shares the second floor with the county attorney’s department. In the southwest corner are the administrative offices, including county administrator Ed Green and director of operations Dale Hancock.

The Department of Social Services is housed on the third and fourth floors. It moved out of its old digs in the Mountain View Building next to Valley View Hospital on the other side of town.

One step off the elevator and the third floor landing is the reception room, lined with floor-to-ceiling windows. It is also well secured. Martin jokingly referred to it as the “Kevlar Room,” since it has a bulletproof reception window. Kevlar is the material of bulletproof vests.

“It’s secure without looking hostile,” said social services director Margaret Long.

On both floors are conference and interview rooms and office cubicles for staff.

Long’s office in the southwest corner of the building looks out over Red Mountain and Storm King Mountain.

Staying behind in the courthouse are the county assessor, treasurer and clerk and recorder as well as the combined courts.


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