MUSKEGON COUNTY TO CONSIDER RELOCATING ALL NON-COURT OFFICES TO BAKER COLLEGE CAMPUS
MUSKEGON, MI — Muskegon County is considering relocating all non-court related county offices from the Hall of Justice, Oak Street and South Campus to the Baker College of Muskegon Campus.
A recent facility assessment of the existing Muskegon County South Campus offices unveiled the deteriorating condition of the buildings which were estimated to cost over $20 million to repair. This study opened the door to examining alternative options in lieu of the costly updates and additional remodeling costs.
Baker College President, Aaron Maike, Ph.D, recently began informal discussions with Muskegon County Administrator Mark Eisenbarth and Public Works Director Matthew Farrar regarding a mutually beneficial deal to secure the campus for Muskegon County in anticipation of a new downtown Muskegon site for Baker College.
“Baker College has been actively investigating a downtown Muskegon campus for several years to bring all BC students to a downtown campus in a vibrant walkable community. BC opened the Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) at the corner of 3rd and Clay over 10 years ago to show our commitment to the rebirth of downtown Muskegon. This new Campus will continue BC’s investment,” comments Baker College of Muskegon President, Aaron Maike, Ph.D. Their campus, located at 1903 Marquette Avenue, poses a viable option for Muskegon County Government and Administrative Offices to unite under one roof. This location is more centrally located within the county proper and is easily accessible to US-31.
This opportunity would create a consistent experience for the public by increasing the quality and ease of accessibility to County services with plenty of parking and handicap accessibility throughout. Chairman of the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners, Bob Scolnik, says “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the County to relocate to a campus that has been well maintained, has updated infrastructure, ample storage and also allows for over 20 County departments to interact on a daily basis without having to cross the street.” Both moves would benefit the entire Muskegon County population.
The current Hall of Justice will continue to house the 14th Circuit, Probate, and 60th District Courts and offices that offer services pertaining to the courts, allowing the Hall of Justice to function wholly as a courthouse. The South Campus property, currently occupied by several County departments, would likely become available for economic development with a goal of increased affordable housing.
Negotiations are not yet underway. The County intends to conduct a facility inspection and property appraisal before any options are brought to the Board.