Chester County buys building for offices

CHESTER -- Chester County just bought a home.

County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey signed a contract Thursday to purchase a 29,580-square-foot-building at 1476 J.A. Cochran By-Pass from Omnova Solutions.

"It's going to be good," he said of the move.

County employees now will begin sprucing up the building that will house numerous county offices, including the council chambers and Roddey's office.

Cleaning or replacing carpets, installing a sound system and computers and making keys are just some of the tasks the county must handle before moving in.

The offices will be moved one at a time, Roddey said. The council chambers and Roddey's office will be among the first to go.

The move likely will begin by the middle of next month, Roddey said. He hopes the council will have its first meeting in the building later this year.

In June, the County Council took its first vote on borrowing $1.4 million to buy the building and $50,000 for its contents.

Citing concerns about limited office space, county leaders said the Omnova facility would ease their growing pains and allow residents to handle lots of business in one place.

Leaders plan to move all the departments housed in the Chester County Courthouse to the building, with the exception of the clerk of court's office. In turn, the solicitor's office and possibly the magistrate's court would be moved to the courthouse.

The facility, which was once a school, sits on about 7 1/2 acres, contains about 60 offices and boasts 122 parking spaces.

Leaders said building a new facility would cost millions more than buying the Omnova property, which they say needs minimal upgrades.