ELLSWORTH — The Pierce County courthouse will be undergoing long-awaited spatial changes in the coming months to provide more security and a larger, new board room and court hearing space.

Other sections of the annex, which once housed the jail and sheriff’s department prior to 2017, will also be renovated for office spaces.

“(The renovations) will improve accessibility, create more space and eliminate noise distractions during meetings from regular business in the courthouse. This move will enable the courthouse to be secured at 5 p.m. each business day without being left unsecured for evening meetings,” said Pierce County administrative coordinator Jason Matthys.

Remodeling with Market and Johnson is expected to cost around $450,000 and construction is expected to be complete by next spring according to Matthys.

The future of the annex has been in discussion since the jail’s move to a new facility on Overlook Drive in 2017, beginning with consultation from Potter Lawson architecture firm. Initial conceptualizations for adding space ranged in costs of $1 million up to $10 million.

READ MORE: Building committee urges County Board to move forward with annex options

“We didn’t need to start at ground zero but we looked at what’s necessary today and number one priority is courthouse security and also to create a board room that’s larger and easier to access on the main level,” Matthys said.

Currently the county board room is located on the second floor of the courthouse.

Matthys updated the finance and personnel committee on the project Dec. 2. A Market and Johnson bid package will be sent out before Jan. 1, 2020.