|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Major renovation for a modest price

  • The issue: Reopening of Bow Building

    Our view: Luck played a part, but officials wanted to get the most for your money

    • email print
  • The issue: Reopening of Bow Building
    Our view: Luck played a part, but officials wanted to get the most for your money
    The Frank T. Bow Federal Building started life as Canton’s post office, not as an office building. And it didn’t function especially well as an office building after it was rehabbed to house the Internal Revenue Service and a bankruptcy court.
    Now, thanks to a well-designed renovation, the basement and main floor are fully functional for the county and state employees who began to move in this week.
    The building will house the public defender and her staff and several Common Pleas Court programs, including the Re-entry Court. The state Probation Department will pay rent for space in the basement.
    Stark County commissioners, who bought the building at Second Street and Cleveland Avenue SW from the federal government for $1, had luck on their side in planning the project. The state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems are nearly new and in good shape. Aside from a little water damage, there were none of the surprises that often complicate modernization of 80-year-old buildings.
    But the remarkably modest price tag for a project this big — $1.5 million — was accomplished primarily because county officials were determined to fund a no-frills renovation. They didn’t go on a spending spree for new equipment and furniture, either.
    Taxpayers owe their thanks to the Board of Commissioners and the Common Pleas Court, which shared the cost; Common Pleas Court Administrator Marc Warner, who oversaw the renovation; and Motter & Meadows Architects.
    There is one exception to the sparse functionality of the new Bow Building, but it doesn’t involve big spending of taxpayer dollars, just a good cleaning and minor repairs. The lobby remains a wonderful example of the art deco style, complete with the stunning murals painted in the late 1930s to pay tribute to Canton’s steel industry.
    County officials are planning an open house at some point, and we hope many Stark Countians will attend and take pride in what they discover. As
    Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton said upon seeing the spruced-up lobby Thursday, “We have a jewel.”