On Wednesday afternoon, the now vacant former NAPA building at the corner of 3rd and Walnut Streets showed little sign of its planned conversion for use as the location for in-person early voting for Monroe County.
The first day of early voting is April 5. Primary Election Day is May 3.
But on Wednesday morning, for their third weekly meeting in a row, Monroe County commissioners approved several contracts that are connected to the building conversion.
On Wednesday’s agenda were ADA-compliant automatic doors, new paint, and an awning running the full length of the building. The awning is intended to keep voters out of the weather, if lines stretch outside the building.
The agenda items were introduced to commissioners by Monroe County facility and fleet manager Greg Crohn.
The biggest part of the $71,890 total for items approved on Wednesday was $42,845 for the interior construction contract with Strauser Construction Co. Inc.—based on design plans submitted by architect Michael Chamblee.
The interior remodel will include construction of a 12-foot x 20-foot room for ballots and a second ADA-compliant bathroom. The current bathroom will be brought up to ADA compliance. A break room will also be added.
The total amount in contracts approved so far by county commissioners for the building conversion is $109,480.
The iconic blue building will be getting a new coat of paint, Crohn told county commissioners. The new paint will be in colors that “go along with the color scheme that’s in that downtown location,” Crohn said. There will be a primary building color and then a trim accent color.
Responding to a question from commissioner Penny Githens, Crohn said county clerk Nicole Browne had requested muted colors. In the surrounding area, there are earth tones and grays, Crohn said. He added, “The color we choose doesn’t affect the price of the paint.”
Crohn told commissioners that Strauser Construction had agreed they could meet “the April 5 deadline” to complete the planned interior construction.
Realistically, the construction would need to be completed a few days before April 5 to allow for the election equipment to be moved into the building and set up for the first day of in-person early voting.
The Monroe County election board is scheduled to meet on Thursday (March 3) at 1 p.m. At that meeting, the three-member board could get an update on the building conversion.