Delaware County Byxbe Campus expected to house administrative offices in 2022

Paul Comstock
ThisWeek

By the summer of 2022, Delaware County is expected to wrap up work on the creation of its Byxbe Campus, a centralized location for a number of county departments.

Delaware County facilities director Jon Melvin described that timeline to county commissioners Jan. 14, when they authorized putting the project out for bids.

Byxbe Campus will be at 1610 state Route 521, a 63.6-acre site that formerly housed the Delaware Area Career Center North Campus.

Former Delaware Area Career Center North Campus

Melvin said the campus would house offices of the county engineer, the sanitary engineer, code compliance, the regional planning commission, the county sheriff's administration, the soil and water conservation district and the Ohio State University Extension.

Melvin said bidding will close in late February and bidders will have more than five weeks to review the plans.

"There's quite (an) extensive set of plans and specifications. Even though we had a little slowdown with the COVID(-19 coronavirus pandemic), it actually gave the design team time to double-check all the drawings and stuff," he said.

Work at the site could begin once a contractor is approved, he said.

"Work will be able to start right away, and we're hoping we can get that work done first part of '22, ahead of the sheriff administration building, which is a new construction. There's a lot of site work that has to be done to get that building started," Melvin said.

The former DACC building will be remodeled and put to use, he said.

It will house the county engineer, sanitary engineer, soil and water, regional planning and OSU Extension, he said.

The county's vehicle-maintenance facility also will be in the building, in areas with high-bay doors the DACC had used to let students work on vehicles, Melvin said.

The sheriff's property and evidence storage also will be in areas with high-bay doors, he said.

The engineer's office will have ancillary buildings, including a large salt-truck storage building, a fuel depot and a truck-washing facility, Melvin said.

The sheriff’s administration building will cover about 34,000 square feet, he said.

"It's so nice to be able to consolidate things and, you know, get rid of the remote scattered locations that we're in around the city ... old houses that really shouldn't be public offices," commissioner Jeff Benton said.

The county purchased the former North Campus for $1.77 million in 2017. 

Eventually, the county will sell 149 N. Sandusky St. – now the site of the sheriff's office and OSU Extension -- and 50 Channing St., site of the engineer's office, county administrator Michael Frommer has said. 

 "We build a courthouse; you got that finished. We renovate the historic courthouse and just get that finished, and now we're doing the Byxbe Campus, which is long overdue ... and get all the operations consolidated and better facilities, better for the residents better of the customers, better for employees. It's going to be a win-win," Benton said Jan. 14.

Noting that Melvin has been involved in all those projects, commissioner Barb Lewis said, "Jon, you're never going to be bored." 

"It is an exciting project. It really establishes two main campuses for the county offices ... the downtown courts offices ... and then we'll have the Byxbe Campus," Melvin said.

The county opened its new $38 million courthouse at 117 N. Union St. in November 2017. It houses the county's judges and courtrooms.

Finishing touches on a $9.5 million renovation project at the Historic Courthouse, 91 N. Sandusky St., were being completed as 2021 began.

The commissioners on Jan. 14 said they were to begin the move into the building the next day. The building also will house the commissioners' staff, the county administrator's office, the county's human-resources office, the economic-development department and communication personnel. 

The commissioners' move into the building frees up space in the commissioners' previous building, the former Carnegie Library at 101 N. Sandusky St. That building will continue to house the county's 911 operation.

The county's information-technology and data-processing personnel, as well as the county law library, also will move to 101 N. Sandusky St.

The Delaware Area Career Center earlier consolidated all its students into what had been called its South Campus, 4565 Columbus Pike.

In August 2019, DACC completed renovations at the site that increased its original 84,000 square feet to more than 250,000 square feet, at a cost of roughly $45 million.

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