MUSKEGON, Mich. — Muskegon County is considering moving all non-court related offices from the Hall of Justice, Oak Street and South Campus to the Baker College of Muskegon Campus.
A recent facility assessment of the Muskegon County South Campus officers showed deteriorating conditions that may take an estimated $20 million to repair.
This study opened the door to alternative options in lieu of the costly updates and remodeling costs.
Baker College President Aaron Maike has been talking with Muskegon County Administrator Mark Eisenbarth and Public Works Director Matthew Farrar about a deal that would benefit both organizations.
“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,” Maike said.
The 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 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," Chairman of the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners Bob Scolnik said.
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.
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