Staff members with the Daviess County Parks Department were busy Monday morning taking park shelter reservations at the parks department’s offices in the Schertzinger Building on Allen Street.
The building is the home to both the parks department and Daviess Emergency Management. The county bought the building, which formerly housed RiverPark EyeCare, last year. RiverPark EyeCare moved to a new home on New Hartford Road.
“It’s amazing how many people we have that still are coming down for appointments, who don’t realize RiverPark EyeCare has moved,” county Parks Director Ross Leigh said.
The county purchased the Schertzinger Building last May for $647,000. The building was renovated for county offices by Danco Construction for $45,000, and the work was finished late last year.
The parks department moved to the Allen Street building in December to make room for a regional REAL ID office to move into the county operations center building on Kentucky 81.
REAL ID officials “fell in love with the ops center,” which had space and parking, Leigh said. The Kentucky 81 location is also better placed to be a regional office.
“They looked at this office ... It made better sense for them to move out there,” county EMA Director Andy Ball said.
The Schertzinger building was already in good shape before contractors began upgrading to accommodate EMA and the parks office.
“It was a lot less renovation than we expected,” Ball said.
The EMA offices include an emergency operations center and offices, with screens in several places so officials can monitor weather data. EMA used to be in the Daviess County Courthouse, so the move freed up space for the coroner’s office to move into the former EMA offices.
While downtown parking was a concern, if officials had to come to the EMA office to use the emergency operations center, Owensboro City Hall has a large parking lot officials might be able to use, Ball said.
The change allowed central dispatch to move its backup dispatch center, which had been part of the EMA office, into the courthouse basement. EMA switching buildings also allowed Fiscal Court to make the county attorney’s space larger, and to add an office for county Communications Coordinator Jordan Rowe, said Jordan Johnson, the county’s purchasing agent.
The move gave Leigh a longer drive to work, he said, but being downtown has its advantages.
“It’s nice to be able to get out and take a walk or get something to eat,” Leigh said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse