Stark commissioners approve bid specs for $2.7 million records center project

Paige Bennett
The Repository
Stark County Office Building.
  • The Stark County Records Center is moving to an existing building on Cleveland Avenue.
  • The western half of that building opened last year as the new Stark County Coroner's Office.

CANTON – Renovations will likely start late this summer to the building that will eventually become the Stark County Records Center.

County commissioners OK'd a resolution Wednesday approving bid specifications for the project. SoL Harris/Day Architecture has estimated that construction costs will total $2.7 million. The project will be paid for through Stark's permanent improvement fund.

The county houses public records — case files, appearance dockets, fiscal records and other administrative documents — on the basement level of a building on Third Street NE in Canton. The new records center will be in the eastern section of an existing building at 3041 Cleveland Ave. SW. The western half of that building was renovated into the new Stark County Coroner's Office in 2022. The building once served as a workshop run by the Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Chris Nichols, director of management and budget for Stark County, said construction bids will be due back to the county in late May.

"With that kind of timing, we'd probably be looking at July, a late summer construction start," he said.

The commissioners also approved a $325,000 construction alternate for exterior work on the building's metal roof, gutters, downspouts and soffits.

Stark County Records Center Director John Runion said the current building is older, and that it makes more sense to move the center into a renovated space rather than use taxpayers' dollars to upgrade the existing one. He said it's not only important for the present, but also looking ahead to the future.

"A lot of our legal (records) and stuff, they're permanent records. They're considered forever," said Runion, who has been leading the department since 1995. "And so it just makes sense for us to move because of the building we're currently in."

Stark County Administrator Brant Luther previously told the Repository that the center's new location will also eliminate the risk of flooding to records on the basement level.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • Approved a resolution authorizing a request for qualifications for design professionals for services related to a construction project at the Stark County Jail . Stark County Facilities Director Tom Serra said the county is searching for firms to transition the linear design at the old portion of the jail to a pod concept. Responses will be accepted until 2 p.m. May 26.
  • Approved two agreements between the county and Alliance for joint resurfacing projects of Sawburg Avenue NW between the Alliance northern corporation limit and Vine Street, and Vine Street NW between Aebi Avenue and Klinger Avenue. The county will pay 82% of the estimated cost of $199,416 for the Sawburg project, and the city will pay the remaining 18%. Costs for the Vine Street project will be paid primarily by the county (68%) and the remaining percentage will be funded by the city. The estimated cost for the project is $146,135. Both projects are expected to be completed this year as part of Stark County's asphalt paving program.
  • Approved a resolution awarding a heat pump replacement project at the Stark County Courthouse to Whisler Plumbing & Heating Inc. Total cost of the project is $757,995. The architect's previous construction cost estimate was $875,000. Funding will come from the Stark County permanent improvement fund.
  • Accepted up to $500,000 in grants from the state of Ohio's Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act Community Development Block Grant allocation and approved projects that had previously been recommended for the funding.

Reach Paige at 330-580-8577, or on Twitter @paigembenn.