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St. Croix County is experiencing an increased need for additional services to meet the needs of the growing county, the second fastest growing county in Wisconsin. As the needs for services increase, the need for space to provide those services also increases. 

To meet future needs of residents, the county is proposing an expansion to the existing Government Center Building in Hudson.

This expansion would be the first major renovation of the Government Center since it was built almost 30 years ago in 1993. This expansion and renovation of the existing building is designed to meet the county’s needs for at least another 20-30 years.

Some important features of this proposed expansion include:

  • Large centrally located entrance.

  • Easy access to all departments.

  • Wide halls and elevators to improve accessibility.

  • More meeting space and courtroom space with technology upgrades.

  • More space to provide current and new services to residents.

  • Sustainable design and use of alternative energies.

  • Shared space for local law enforcement, corrections and public defenders.

  • Direct access to Vine Street, creating two points of access to the Government Center.

One of the service areas that will benefit from the additional space is that of public protection. As the need for public safety grows, so does the space and storage needs for law enforcement and the courts.

This expansion addresses the need for additional courtrooms, children’s waiting areas for family court, dedicated jury deliberation rooms and more space for the district attorney, victim witness and sheriff’s offices. The new design includes space for potential tenants including the Hudson Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and public defenders. Creating shared spaces for these tenants within the expansion will improve communication and efficiency between departments and

agencies and further benefit the public safety of the residents and visitors of St. Croix County.

A Government Center Building Subcommittee was formed in March 2021 to discuss and review the need for an expansion of the Government Center. The committee reviewed previous studies, toured County facilities and met with county employees to learn more about the space needs of the Government Center. 

After seven months of discussion, the subcommittee voted to recommend the project move forward to the Administration Committee meeting in January 2022.

Between now and the January Administration Committee meeting, St. Croix County will hold two open houses for residents to learn more about this project from county employees, county representatives and the architects that worked on the plan. 

More information about these open houses and this project will be added to the St. Croix County website.

The projected maximum budget for this phase of the Government Center expansion is approximately $87 million. This is the budget, and the cost for this phase is not expected to exceed this amount. This number does not factor in growth to the county or payment from tenants to use space in the new plan. As the county population grows and more people are paying taxes, the cost is spread out.

Both factors will significantly reduce the impact of this project. Officials said St. Croix County currently has a need for more space, which will only increase in the future. Securing funding now while interest rates are at a historic low could save the county tens of millions of dollars in interest and inflationary cost of building materials.

 

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