More Delaware County public offices are slated for a make-over as plans progressed toward the expansion of the Rutherford B. Hayes building.

More Delaware County public offices are slated for a make-over as plans progressed toward the expansion of the Rutherford B. Hayes building.

That action comes on the heels of two other projects. County officials already are looking toward the completion of $1.75-million in renovations to the recently purchased Hall's furniture store by July 1. They also are planning the construction of a new $45-million to $50-million courthouse facility.

The Delaware County commissioners last week opened bidding for an architect to expand and renovate the Hayes building.

The project, in preliminary stages and without an estimated price tag, would mark the first major renovation of the Hayes building. The 74,654-square-foot facility houses a number of county offices, including those of the county auditor, department of job and family services and prosecutor, was opened in 2002.

The architect won't be selected before next month, but will be asked to design an approximately 1,300-square-foot expansion to the prosecutor's third-floor office, as well as fitness room for county employees.

"We want to look at that (a fitness room)," said county administrator Dave Cannon. "(Commissioner Glenn Evans) has been a big proponent of wellness programs for county employees."

During his four-year tenure as commissioner, Evans has maintained the county could receive better health insurance and prescription medication rates for employees if it had an employee wellness program to prospective insurers.

Other county department directors, including job and family service director Mona Reilly, also have requested that fitness facilities be offered to county employees.

"We even offered to bring our own equipment," Reilly said. "Our jobs are stressful and it would be nice to be able to work some of that off."

Potential cost savings and improved work attendance have been primary factors behind the growing popularity of employee wellness programs nationwide. Ohio State University officials have estimated its program, which cost $2-million to implement for its 23,000 employees, could save $35-million in health care costs by 2013.

Cannon said county officials haven't determined how large the fitness room would be, what it would include or how much it would cost. He added it's not a foregone conclusion the room would be built.

"We have no idea," he said. "We want to have somebody look at it. It's an 'if' right now."

Cannon said the prosecutor's office expansion and renovations to the ground-floor space currently occupied by the county board of elections would be higher priorities than the fitness room.

Renovations to the board of elections space are necessary because the department will be relocated as soon as July 1 to the Hall's building, now named the Frank B. Willis Government Building.

The county probate and juvenile court, now housed in a $21,310-per-month rented space at 88 N. Sandusky St., would assume the board of elections space in the Hayes building.

"We're just getting the architect on board for, No. 1, the design of the space for the probate court," Cannon said.

The proposed fitness room currently is targeted for an area that would neighbor the juvenile and probate court. If constructed, Cannon said, it would be planned around the court's space.

"We've got to plan for future growth of the probate court," he said. "That makes it more challenging."

Prospective architects for the Hayes building project have until May 14 to submit bids.