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Franklin County leaders will move, old building to be razed

Written by Jim Hook/The Chambersburg Public Opinion | Sep 29, 2018 5:53 AM
Franklin County Commissioners construction.jpg

Franklin County Commissioners will move on Oct. 15 into a building at 340 N. Second St., at the corner of Grant Street. That building is in the foreground of this photo. In the back is the new Grant Street Loft, which will house a commercial kitchen and event center for The Butcher Shoppe and an engineering firm, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc. (Amber South/Chambersburg Public Opinion)

(Chambersburg) -- Franklin County Commissioners are moving their offices next month in preparation for the construction of a downtown courthouse.

The borough on Friday also moved a street lamp and tree in the first block of North Main Street to make way for the project, according to Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill. King Street Church is paving its parking lot and moving the entrance a few feet further from the courthouse construction zone.   

The disruptions will go on for more than two years.

The former Chambersburg Trust building on Memorial Square, where the commissioners' offices are housed, is to be razed beginning in mid-November, according to Commissioner David Keller. Demolition of the five-story building will take a couple of months. A contract has yet to be awarded.

Chambersburg Trust building.jpg

The site of the old Chambersburg Trust building, currently home to the Franklin County Commissioners on Memorial Square, was formerly the home of the Franklin Repository in the 19th century. (Photo: Mike Marotte)

A judicial center will be built next to the 1865 courthouse. Administrative offices are already being built at North Second and Grant streets. The $67 million project addresses security and efficiency.

"We are pleased things seem to be on schedule and on budget," Keller said, "and we're focused on keeping it that way. We've got a good team."

Commissioners will move during the week of Oct. 15 to the first floor of a building that the county is leasing at 340 N. Second St. The commissioners' meeting for Oct. 16 is canceled. They will meet on Oct. 18 in the Franklin County Administration Annex, 218 N. Second St., the former Sears building.

Starting Oct. 23, meetings of the commissioners, the Salary Board, Election Board, Retirement Board and Prison Board (previously scheduled for the commissioners' office) will be held at 340 N. Second St. 

The phases of the project are:

  • Demolition in the first block of North Main Street.
  • Bid the contract to build an administrative building on North Second Street in December or January. Construction will take about 12 to 14 months. The administrative building should be occupied in early 2020.
  • Bid the courthouse construction in December or January. Construction will take about two years.
  • The judges, court staff and sheriff move from the courthouse annex, 157 Lincoln Way East, to the new courthouse. The district attorney moves to the old administrative annex, 218 N. Second St. Parts of the courthouse annex, built in 1978, will be modernized.
  • The District Attorney returns to the renovated courthouse annex. Domestic relations and probation departments also move to the courthouse annex.

Keller said commissioners have not decided whether to demolish the current administrative annex known as the former Sears building, 218 N. Second St.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Chambersburg Public Opinion

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