Supervisors to consider Carson courthouse renovations

A rendering of a potential expansion to the Carson City Courthouse as designed by TSK Architects.

A rendering of a potential expansion to the Carson City Courthouse as designed by TSK Architects.
Carson City Public Works

The Board of Supervisors will be asked to weigh on facility needs of city staff – specifically at the Carson City Courthouse – during their Thursday meeting, which starts at 8:30 a.m.
TSK Architects will present several options ranging in price that could remodel or relocate existing offices. According to Carson City Public Works, when the state demographer determines the city’s population exceeds 60,000 people, a third justice of the peace will likely be required, necessitating more space.
Departments in the building are already cramped, according to a report compiled by staff and architects. The Department of Alternative Sentencing was noted as being at over capacity, affecting security and drug-testing procedures. The District Attorney’s Office is estimated to need at least 2,500 more square feet. The Clerk-Recorder’s Office needs additional parking during elections.
One option is the clerk-recorder relocates to another building, then other departments could repurpose that space, a great shuffling of staff and equipment, though it wouldn’t necessarily solve the space problems. It would make room for a new courtroom build-out in the future.
A second option is to repurpose the building’s atrium, either within the existing structure or creating more floor space. The third and most expensive option is to expand the courthouse, adding between 7,900 and 8,800 square feet, depending on layout. The clerk-recorder could remain in the building with an expansion.
The first relocation plan, which involves renovating two floors, could cost more than $6 million, according to current estimates. The second atrium option could cost up to $2 million, and a building expansion could cost between $6 million and $10 million.
Besides the courthouse, the city is also looking at the need for a public services center that would house “public-facing” services and administration such as the assessor and human resources offices, many of which are now housed in the current city hall. This proposed center could include the clerk-recorder as well if relocated.
C&A Investment, LLC, has proposed leasing space to the city at their 3246 N. Carson St., property. For approximately 40,000 square feet, the city would pay about $839,000 a year in rent. That could drop to near $599,000 a year if the city contributed $1.5 million toward needed improvements. Another option, according to the staff report, is the owner invests $3 million in the building for improvements and sells it to the city for $11.3 million. In contrast, current estimates for a brand-new building stand at $22 million.
Other possible actions:
• Carson City Health and Human Services will ask supervisors to ratify, retroactively, submission materials for a $921,000 CDC grant aimed at boosting local healthcare needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 affected nearly every aspect of healthcare and public health, laying bare disparities and gaps in some conditions and worsening others,” Nicki Aaker, health and human services director, and Dustin Boothe, epidemiology division manager, wrote in their staff report. “Public health partners need the capacity to regain their footing in these areas and then accelerate their efforts.”
The CDC grant is being administered by the State of Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health with the expectation from the CDC that local health departments will receive 40 percent of the funds. To focus on public health workforce, the grant will run between Nov. 1 and Oct. 31 of 2027.
Carson City Health and Human Services is proposing to use the grant to recruit and hire a chronic disease prevention and health promotion division manager – which would oversee tobacco control and prevention, among other things – and a public health “informatician”—who would assist with “multiple public health data systems.” The grant would also be used for internship opportunities and leadership development for staff.
• Supervisors will also hear an appeal of the planning commission’s prior approval of a special use permit for a guest building greater than 700 square feet on residential property off Kings Canyon Road.
Owner and applicant David A. Johnson is appealing the condition planning commissioners set that the guest building be deed restricted as a non-rental property. Supervisors could uphold, modify, or reverse the planning commission’s decision. Neighbors have submitted letters to the board in opposition to rentals in the neighborhood.

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