FARMINGTON — Davis County commissioners approved a contract Tuesday for the creation of a master plan for the campus where most Davis County government offices are housed.

Most county offices, except for those of the county attorney, sheriff and public works, are in the southeastern block near the intersection of State and Main streets in Farmington.

The site is home to the Davis County Memorial Courthouse, a 45,000-square-foot building constructed in three parts. The first and northernmost section of the building was completed in 1932, followed by the middle section in 1957-58 and a southern section in 1979.

The Davis County Health Department is in the former sheriff's office and county jail and the Headquarters Branch for the county library is nearby.

The $26,050 contract with Cooper, Roberts, Simonsen Associates will give county commissioners an analysis of options in planning for the future of that land, said Marshall Scott, the county director of facilities management.

If commissioners like what they see, $8,000 of that contract may be used to create three-dimensional models for further visuals.

Commissioners stressed this is just part of a planning stage because the county courthouse likely wouldn't fare well in a major earthquake.

A seismic study completed in September 2007 stated that the courthouse, located a quarter mile from the Wasatch Fault on land with a high potential for liquefaction, would need significant seismic upgrades to keep people alive in an earthquake.

Scott estimates the cost to be about $5 million to retrofit the three sections of courthouse and an additional $8 million for other county sites that would also need retrofitting.

Commissioners expect the master plan to help them decide whether a new building is necessary or if a retrofit, or combination of the two, is the way to go.

"Capital planning needs have to be addressed," said Commissioner Bret Millburn. "We need to find out what direction is more cost-effective to go."

The study will also help address office space needs and set up an implementation plan for future construction.

Scott said he expects the planning process to get under way in early June and to be wrapped up by the end of the month.

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