Tuolumne County Looking To Make Use Of Vacant Spaces
Sonora, CA — Many parts of the old Tuolumne General Hospital are currently vacant and come late August the two courthouse buildings in downtown Sonora will be empty.
Tuolumne General Hospital closed in July of 2007, and the Behavioral Health Department only uses a fraction of the space on the campus. It also previously held the Tuolumne County Innovation Lab before its demise.
Meanwhile, August 23 is the projected opening date for the new Tuolumne County Courthouse located off Old Wards Ferry Road. At that point, the current courthouse buildings on Yaney Avenue and South Washington Street will be vacant.
The Board of Supervisors has hired the firm Lionakis to review those three sites, and the feasibility of moving some other county departments into those spaces. For example, the Information Technology Department and the District Attorney’s Office are both currently leasing buildings. Lionakis will also look into a potential remodel of the fourth floor of the County Administration Building.
Speaking about the benefits of the study, Assistant County Administrator Eric Erhardt told Clarke Broadcasting, “We’ll be able to identify what we can and can’t do with those historic buildings, and how we can maximize the use of those spaces to get some of our departments out of leased spaces and into county-owned buildings.”
The Board of Supervisors agreed pay $259,000 to Lionakis to do the study. The company will conduct structural evaluations, look at various options, and provide cost estimates.
The money will come from the county’s Capital budget and the Health and Human Services Fund. The feasibility study will likely come back before the supervisors for review in the Fall.