The Monroe County Commissioners are preparing to take the next step in their purchase of Bloomington’s Showers building, but the commissioners may not have the support they’ll need from the county council.
The commissioners say the county needs more space. It already pays to rent offices in other buildings and as renovations begins to the courthouse, even more rentals may be needed. The solution, they say, is another building. Commissioner Mark Stoops says the Showers building would be a good choice.
“For one thing,” he says, “it’s the amount of space that we could really use long term which is about 70,000 sq ft, or about 50,000 of that is assignable, that means we could use that for offices. In the end, I would say within five years hopefully we’ll have departments shifted to Showers that would take up maybe half of the available square footage.”
And while the county council members seem to agree the county is suffering from “space issues,” Council Member Vick Kelson says he isn’t so sure the Showers building fits the bill.
“My larger question,” Kelson says, “has been that when we look at the space needs studies an awful lot of the space needs that have been identified have to do with corrections and the judiciary and the problem is that I’ve been concerned that that space may not be suitable for the corrections application or for the justice system.”
Commissioners are asking for the council’s approval to issue a bond—sold through the county’s building corporation—in order to close on a purchase of the Showers building in March.