Collaborative Design Group was retained in 2009 to perform a study regarding the reuse of this 1883 Courthouse. At that point in time, the building had sat empty for approximately three years, other than being used for storage. The County Commissioners were faced with the decision to either find a use for the building or tear it down. Our charge was the following:
- Determine the condition of the building to verify that it could be reused
- Find a use for the building
- Determine the cost to renovate the building for long term use
- Compare the cost of renovation with the cost to demolish and construct a new building
Prior to our involvement, the citizens of Todd County, led by the Todd County Historical Society, had begun to raise interest in saving the building from demolition. In 2010, the Courthouse was listed on Minnesota’s 10 Most Endangered Buildings list. It was evident that this property was unique and important to the citizens of the County.
Our study was completed in 2010 and revealed that the building structure was in good condition and that The building could certainly be renovated for new uses. It was determined that the interior would not be able to be preserved as originally constructed, but creative thinking and thoughtful planning led to a schematic design that included removing walls within the building to allow for open offices and adaptable spaces for future growth of the County administration and service departments.
Construction began in 2011 and was completed with the Grand Opening on July 3, 2012. The project came in under budget, even with the addition of replacing the roof and additional interior modifications. The design and construction team attempted to restore and reuse as many of the historic features of the building as possible, while creating a space that is both functional and adaptable for the next hundred years.