A formal dedication was held on Sept. 8 to celebrate the $25.5 million renovation of Montgomery County’s Grey Courthouse Office Building located at 27 Courthouse Square in Rockville. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined in the ceremonies by Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz, Department of General Services Director David Dise and other County officials.
The project renovated the 98,62-square-foot, four-story building. The Grey Courthouse Office Building consists of the original 1931 courthouse, which is connected to the historic Red Brick Courthouse, and the 1961 wing addition that fronts North Washington Street. The renovation preserves the historic exterior of the building and the ceremonial courtroom located on the third floor. The Grey Courthouse and the Red Brick Courthouse are designated local, State and National historical landmarks. They were designated historic in 1979 as part of the City of Rockville Local Historic District.
The renovated Grey Courthouse will be home to seven County departments. Project design began in summer 2017 and construction was substantially completed in summer 2021.
“This project is a great example of centralizing County services in Rockville and maximizing County space, ultimately saving millions in taxpayer dollars,” said County Executive Elrich. “Our team has done a great job renovating this facility, improving government services and accessibility. This was done while maintaining important historical aspects of the building, a significant landmark in the County with Thurgood Marshall once arguing here for equal pay for black teachers ”
The Department of Finance’s Treasury Division and the Office of Procurement will be serving County residents and businesses from this location. The office building will also be the primary location for the Office of the County Executive’s Innovation Team, the Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions (TEBS) Enterprise Resource Planning, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) Training Organizational Development Team, the OHR Occupational Medical Services, the Fire and Rescue Occupational Medical Services team and the Health and Human Services Mental Health/Substance Abuse Screening and Referral program (also known as ACCESS to Behavioral Health).
"We are thrilled with the renovations that have preserved classic elements while transforming this historic Courthouse into a contemporary space fit to serve Montgomery County's taxpayers," Council President Tom Hucker said. "This new facility will make a range of quality behavioral health services, financial services, occupational medical services and more accessible to County residents, businesses and employees all in one central location."
The project allowed the consolidation of offices within the Rockville Core from previously leased spaces into a County-owned facility. One of the leased facilities, 255 Rockville Pike, was one of the most expensive leased properties in the County inventory. The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Permitting Services, which were also located within 255 Rockville Pike, moved to the new Wheaton Redevelopment Project building in 2020.
“Today’s ribbon cutting of the newly renovated historic courthouse building is both exciting and momentous,” said Council Vice President Albornoz. “By refurbishing this notable space, we will preserve our local history and continue the tradition of providing comprehensive services to our County residents.”
Department of General Services Director Dise said the project will be an efficient use of County property.
“This project represents an intelligent reuse of public buildings and demonstrates the County’s commitment to maximize the use of publicly owned assets,” said Director Dise. “This reuse effort pays for itself in a short term due to eliminating large leases, which will also save money well into the future. I am proud of how this building preserves historic elements and incorporates modern office efficiencies and technologies.”
Under the management of the County’s Department of General Services, DCMM Architects provided architectural and engineering services. WM Schlosser Company Inc. was the general contractor for the project. The design and construction cost for the project was financed with appropriation-backed debt funded through lease savings.
Additional information about the facility is available on the Department of General Services website.