Demolitions to make way for new Warren County government, courts campus

Old jail, SWAT garage first on demolition list.

The County Government Campus construction project is one step closer now that Warren County commissioners have finally approved the demolition of the old jail and the SWAT garage.

Commissioners gave direction to Trevor Hearn, facilities management director, to start with the demolition of the vacated jail and the SWAT garage on Memorial Drive. The work will start with the design process for a new county court building on Memorial Drive in Lebanon, just east of where the current court building is located.

Commissioners also directed that the SWAT garage be combined with a new building for the county Drug Task Force at a location to be determined off-campus.

Facilities have been under evaluation for some time as county officials determined what to do with the old jail that was built in 1996 and is attached to the building where the County Court is located. Also attached to the County Court building is the former Sheriff’s Office and previous jail, built in 1976. Since the opening of the new sheriff’s office and jail, the County Court has expanded into the former sheriff’s office temporarily.

Officials determined the former jail closed in 2021 and it could not be repurposed for another use.

Commissioner Tom Grossmann asked if a second story could be added, or an expansion made, to the Common Pleas Court Building to accommodate the County Court. However, Hearn and an architect working with the county, said a single-floor building would be preferable.

They said adding a second floor would not be cost effective because there would need to be additional stairwells, elevators and restrooms on the upper floors to be ADA compliant. Hearn also said the Domestic Relations Division of Common Pleas Court will need to be expanded in the next five to 10 years due to the county’s growth.

After the new County Court Building is complete, the current building will be demolished.

“The county court was next on the list after the new sheriff’s office and jail was completed,” said Martin Russell, deputy county administrator.

The commissioners have received the facilities study and proposed projects to improve the government campus. However, they are still reviewing some of the proposals for the first phase, which would include demolition and construction of an 18,000 square-foot facilities management building and the demolition and construction of a new fueling station.

The second phase would be demolition of a new Health and Human Services Building and create potential building sites for a new Health and Human Services Building and Board of Elections Building.


Find more Warren County coverage on our website and download the Dayton Daily News ePaper app to your devices.

About the Author