MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon County has officially purchased the Baker College Muskegon campus, putting all non-court-related county operations under one roof.
The purchase will allow the county to move departments from Apple Avenue, Oak Street and the Hall of Justice to be all under one roof.
In 2019, the county said that many of its current buildings needed more than $20 million in repairs, based on a recent study. That big price tag prompted officials to look at options other than paying for all the repairs.
They started to eye Baker college after the school said it wanted to move downtown, looking for a “vibrant, walkable community.”
For now, Baker College and the county will operate on the campus together. Each organization will have their own space, as well as some shared areas. Muskegon County expects that relocating their offices will be finished by summer of next year. Baker College will move to a new downtown Muskegon facility, which will take a few years.
After the move, the Michael E. Kobza Hall of Justice will be exclusively used as a courthouse for Muskegon County’s judiciary, courts, and other court-related departments like Circuit Court Records, clerk’s office, prosecutor’s office and sheriff’s department.
Muskegon County Board Chair Robert Scolnik highlighted how much easier it will be to operate county services out of one building.
“This almost 300,000 square foot facility is in excellent condition, primarily on one floor, and will allow for the convenient consolidation of county operations that were spread over two campuses and many buildings in downtown Muskegon,” he said in a statement.
Muskegon County Administrator Mark Eisenbarth agreed, saying it will be a beneficial move for the people of the county.
“We believe this transition will strengthen the way we serve our citizens in terms of efficiency, accessibility, and delivery of County services,” Eisenbarth said in a statement.