Public invited to hear plans for new courthouse building

By Brandi Makuski

Officials from Portage Co. government are holding a series of open houses to showcase potential plans for the construction of a new county government facility.

Voters turned down a nonbinding referendum question in 2016 related to new $78.5 million courthouse building, but county officials took their option to move forward, having since hired an owner’s rep, ICS Consultants, Inc., to negotiate the design with contractors, BWBR/Dewberry.

The design slated to appear at the upcoming meetings are just the latest in two decades of debate over the future space needs of the Portage Co. Jail—which many on the county board have referred to as “obsolete from the day it was built”—and an upcoming remodel of the existing courthouse, which Facilities Director Todd Neuenfeldt has said needs millions of dollars in upgrades.

The county has been working with Venture Architects of Milwaukee on conceptual plans for space and security since 1999.

The first open house is scheduled for Wed., June 6, at 6 p.m. in Conference Rooms 1 & 2 of the Portage
County Annex, located at 1462 Strongs Ave. in Stevens Point.

Additional open houses will be announced as their dates are secured.