In 2008, Green Lake County employees were headquartered in the historic courthouse (built in 1898), as well as an old gear factory and other buildings throughout Green Lake. The spaces were dark and cramped and the roughly 150 employees had outgrown their accommodations. Additionally, the courthouse only had 37 jail cells, which often resulted in housing excess inmates at facilities in other counties at a substantial cost. It was clear that the county needed more space. Along with the architectural team (Potter Lawson), The Samuels Group provided space planning information, feasibility studies, and an assessment of the existing building. The information helped the county board understand the need for a new government center and assisted in passing the measures to construct the facility. The Samuels Group also helped educate project stakeholders on the urgency of this project and the benefits it would bring to their community.
In 2009, the county began construction on the new Government Center. The facility was designed with plans of expansion in the future, but through diligent project management, the project was completed nearly $1 million under budget permitting the county to immediately move forward with the expansion project. Today, this 158,000 SF, LEED Silver certified facility is the home of the entire Green Lake County government. Over 30 departments are now housed in this sustainable, modern-looking facility that features the newest technology in security and telecommunications. Additionally, the government center includes a sally port and a 100-bed jail to accommodate Huber, medium and maximum security inmates. Select departments include the Sheriff, Health and Human Services, Courts, County Clerk, Treasurer, Register of Deeds, UW Extension, and County Maintenance.
This project successfully met the unique multi-usage needs associated with housing over 30 departments, each with diverse security and technology requirements. The extensive planning, coordination, quality construction management, and quality control resulted in an attractive facility that serves many different needs. Bringing all of these departments to one building has significantly improved operation costs and efficiencies. Also notable is the project’s commitment to sustainability as it pursues LEED Gold certification. Lastly, the safety record of this project is impeccable as up to 130 people were working at any given time and there were no lost-time accidents for the entire duration of the project.
Green Lake County Government Center received a 2011 Build Wisconsin Award .