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Greene County revealed a new $19 million campus plan. What could county buildings look like in a few years?

With the new Greene County Jail opening this spring, the county has free space in the former jail now available for other uses.

If Greene County government buildings were a deck of playing cards, they’d be going through a shuffle right about now.

With space freed up by the recent move of the Sheriff’s Office and the Greene County Jail from central Springfield to a new $150 million dollar facility near the western outskirts of town, officials can now use the former jail to house county offices — instead of inmates.

“Very excited we’re able to take advantage of the old jail space,” Commissioner Rusty MacLachlan said at a press conference Friday.

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Gregory Holman/KSMU
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Greene County Commissioners Bob Dixon, John Russell and Rusty MacLachlan called a press conference Friday, July 29, 2022 to reveal conceptual plans for $19 million in renovations to county buildings along Boonville Avenue in Springfield.

But first, the county needs to get through $19 million worth of renovations to the former jail and three other buildings. The proposal would be paid for by a half-cent sales tax voters approved back in 2017.

For example, the Greene County Commission has been renting office space on the 10th floor of the Cox Medical Tower in recent years. But according to the new renovation proposal, that’s soon to end.

“The County Commission will return its offices to the Greene County Historic County Courthouse for the first time in many decades,” Commissioner John Russell said.

The commission’s move to the second floor of the Historic Courthouse promises to save the county $107,000 in rent each year.

That wasn’t the only renovation highlighted by commissioners. Some major changes include:

  • Moving Greene County juvenile administration and some court facilities into the former jail.
  • Moving some dangerously cramped court facilities into a bigger space once used for the old Sheriff’s Office.
  • Moving the Public Administrator from the Cox tower into those former courtrooms. But Greene County prosecutors will remain on two floors of the Cox tower.

One of the most noticeable exterior changes — the Greene County Judicial Courts Building on Boonville Avenue would get a big new secure entrance lobby.
Proposed projects will take two to three years to complete, said architect Jennifer Wilson.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs and investigations.