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Government


Cuyahoga County: New headquarters marks a "symbolic turnaround"
County Executive Ed FitzGerald says the new building is state-of-the-art and will save money
Story by BRIAN BULL


 
The new Cuyahoga County headquarters officially opened yesterday.
Courtesy of Brian Bull
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Cuyahoga County has officially opened its new headquarters. Yesterday local officials gave a media tour and formal door-opening ceremony to showcase the new, $260 million facility.

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Since April 2013 until this week, Geis Companies workers have smashed the old and built the new.  The 8-story, 220-thousand square foot building is now open for official county business, and will house more than 600 government employees.

County Public Works Director Bonnie Teeuwen shows off the new council chambers, which are bright, open, and modernized.

“We’ve gone beyond the legal requirements for the ADA accessibility in our ADA compliance," Teeuwen says. "This podium is an example, it raises up and down."

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald told the audience the new headquarters was a symbolic turnaround in the county’s history with an indirect reference to the Jimmy Dimora administration.

“...Because we’re directly adjacent to the Ameritrust complex, which was literally a subject of the corruption investigation," FitzGerald says. "You have economically a part of the city, where East 9th and Prospect and East 9th and Euclid were at one time in our city’s history, centers of commerce and vitality, and have really been dormant for many, many, many years. And now we’re completely turning that around.”

Joe Marinucci of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance says it has been a great week and a half for the area.

“Obviously beginning a week ago with the RNC announcement, the LeBron decision later in the week, the fact we’re in Public Square where the Cleveland Foundation announced they were committing $8 million towards the restoration of Public Square, it really does show a lot of our hard work is beginning to pay off," Marinucci says.

The new headquarters will be leased to the county for 26 years, with the option to buy it for a dollar when it ends.  A real estate consolidation study showed that the county could potentially save $84 million over 20 years through consolidating its headquarters.

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