Montgomery County plans millions in improvements

The upgrades include colorful LED lights being added to the Montgomery County Administration building.

The Montgomery County Administration building will have a colorful glow at night starting later this year when 32 LED fixtures are installed as part of the county’s capital improvement program.

The $160,000 project will mean the county can bathe the front and back corners of the 12-story building at 451 W. Third St. in a variety of colors, including red, blue and green.

The facade upgrades are among the $4.2 million the county planned to spend on its facilities this year.

The county also plans to spend millions of dollars more in 2016 and beyond to repair and upgrade its properties and buildings.

“With facilities, it is always a question of budget and what has to be done and the budget that you have,” said Phil Miller, Montgomery County’s deputy director of facilities management.

By late November or December, the county plans to install LED lights in the notches of the four corners of the administration building, which can be programmed for special events and holidays.

The county tested LED lights at the county headquarters during the First Four NCAA Tournament in March.

The lights will be reminiscent of the color-adjustable LED lighting installed at the Stewart Street and Wolf Creek bridges along Edwin C. Moses Boulevard. The U.S. 35 overpass downtown also shines in vivid colors at night.

Public and private property owners increasingly are using colorful lighting displays to make downtown Dayton more user-friendly, interesting, attractive and memorable, said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

“With the county building right along Interstate-75, that’s really going to enhance the skyline,” she said.

County officials said the lights may be switched on every night, but no final decisions have been made yet about their use.

“It creates an opportunity to be a beacon, to be a gateway,” Miller said.

The facade lighting improvements are part of the county’s capital improvement program, which planned more than 20 projects this year. The largest undertaking is the nearly $2 million. renovation the Board of Elections space. Two floors are being reconstructed to make more room for voting machines amid increasing numbers of in-person voters at the board office over the last few years

The county also is spending about $535,000 this year to extend the loading dock and add a freight elevator to the administration building

The county later this year will revise and update its five-year capital improvement plan.

The county’s capital needs are evaluated and determined to be either imperative, necessary or recommended. Projects that are imperative are completed as quickly as possible, while recommended projects often are pushed back until they become more urgent.

“I use the terms must do, should do, nice to do,” said Amy Wiedeman, assistant Montgomery County administrator.

Next year, the county plans to spend about $5.7 million on facilities projects, though priorities could shift depending on funding and needs.

The most pricey project, expected to cost about $2 million, will be the renovation of the third floor of the Reibold Building.

The Child Support Enforcement division, which occupies the space, will relocate to the Job Center in the fall of 2016.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County has clinic operations on the fifth floor of the Reibold building, which eventually will move to the third floor, said Bill Wharton, spokesman for public health.

“It’s still in the early stages for the project,” Wharton said.

The project still needs additional approval from public health and it must go through the final planning process, officials said.

Other notable projects planned for next year include a nearly $1.3 million renovation to the Nicholas residential treatment center at the Dora Lee Tate Service Center Complex.

The facility was opened in 1969 and the improvements will impact durability and operations, Miller said.

In 2017, one of the major capital improvement projects planned is the $2.5 million replacement of the jail’s security control system. The year after that, the county plans to improve, replace or repair the pavers, fountain, limestone and trees at Courthouse square.

“We’ll have to make some long-term plans about what we will do there,” Miller said.

Courthouse Square also will have a new look in September 2016 when the Lincoln Society of Dayton installs a bronze Abraham Lincoln statute next to a row of trees by the old courthouse.

The statute will commemorate a speech Lincoln gave against slavery at the courthouse on Sept. 17, 1859.

The society has hired a sculptor, Michael Major, to produce the 14- to 15-feet tall piece of artwork. The county is not paying for the project.

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