Liberty Twp. making decisions on new township offices

Liberty Twp. has embarked on a $10 million to $11 million plan for new facilities, including administration offices and an expanded public works building.

In the township where population has quadrupled over the past two decades to about 40,000 — and with future growth a certainty — trustees said they are making long-term plans to right-size facilities.

About a 1½ years ago trustees started examining facilities to see what was needed.

The original plan for the administrative offices and sheriff’s post was to negotiate with the current landlord to buy the entire building where the offices are currently located, at 7162 Liberty Centre Drive.

That plan didn’t go well, Trustee Tom Farrell said.

“The price that they had on the (building) was way too high, especially when we have a five-year commitment to lease it,” Farrell said. “We wanted a portion of that lease payment to go toward the purchase and those negotiations did not go well.”

The township has three years left on its lease, and Farrell said they will not be breaking it.

Trustees have decided to use the township’s former officer on Princeton Road, where only public meetings are now held, and either add on to that building or tear down and build anew.

Early estimates for new offices are $3.7 million to $4 million.

Because that building is in a more rural setting, a more rustic design, perhaps themed after the former Hughes railroad station that was located in the area, was suggested.

“If you guys are okay with that kind of a theme then we can throw it to (the architects),” Trustee Steve Schramm said. “I would say the grand entry is where you’re going to evoke the history. The rest of the building, it’s not as critical. You come up to entrance you’d like people to think they are coming to a train station.”

Farrell said he favors adding onto the current meeting building.

“Personally, I would like to see the existing building stay as is, continue to meet there and expand onto it whichever way they have to expand,” he said.

Another project on the facilities plan already started this year is the $2.2 million expansion of the public works building, which is slated for completion in January.

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