Having fun with the brand new digs: Prosecutor’s workplace capable of unfold out at outdated PNC constructing | Information
RENSSELAER – When Jasper County Attorney Jacob Taulman moved into the old government outhouse last year, papers fought for space in cramped offices.
And while the paperwork only seems to have grown, at least Taulman now has enough space to keep it.
This month Taulman and his team are celebrating a year of work in their new location in the old branch of PNC Bank on Cullen Street. It’s next to the east side of the District Court, a stone’s throw from the front door of the new office.
Hauling a suitcase full of court documents doesn’t seem as daunting as it did before.
“It’s so nice to be able to cross the street to get to the courthouse,” Taulman said. “It doesn’t seem like walking down a block makes much of a difference, but it was nice.”
The renovated room has a large reception area in the old sitting area of the bank. Denise Powell has worked as an office manager / secretary for 27 years, including almost 26 years in the old government building one block north of the new building and has more freedom of movement.
“She trained us all,” Taulman said of Powell. “It holds this place together.”
Walls have replaced former bank teller stations, making room for a child support office and more.
These offices even used the bank’s old car window.
“People can just drop their child benefit records on the window,” Taulman said. “You could make use of it, especially during COVID.”
Taulman and his assistant prosecutors have converted the offices of the former bank officials into offices of their own with little change.
“We wanted to keep it as simple as possible out of consideration for the bank and the building,” Taulman said of the renovation work, which was approved by the county officers with the help of Taulman and his staff.
The building’s address at 125 S. Cullen St. is now home to Taulman, Assistant Attorneys Clair Beaver, Emily Lyons and Joe Morrison (Vice Chairman), as well as investigator Pat Harper and Victim Assistant Eileen Phegley.
Kim Hitchcock is the Child Support Services administrator.
Karen Wilson, Emergency Management Director, has an office in the building and the probation offices are in the basement. An elevator that takes visitors to the parole offices had to be modified to be ADA compliant.
A total of 13 people work in the renovated building.
“It’s wonderful to have so much space,” said Taulman. “It gives us many opportunities to increase organization and productivity.”
The former bank vault serves as space for old files, although the lockers in the vault remain empty. Taulman’s goal is to digitize almost all old files in his office in the future.
The new excavation sites of the public prosecutor’s office were originally built in 1967 as a state bank. Before ’67, the State Bank occupied what is now the Beaver Law Building in downtown Rensselaer from 1904 to 1933. It later moved to 116 W. Washington St., which is now the Stace Pickering insurance office.
In 1987, State Bank merged with First of America Bank and First of America was sold to PNC between 1997 and 1998, according to Jasper County historian Judy Kanne.
In May 2018, the PNC office closed and remained empty for almost a year before plans to convert it into a district building were implemented.
The square footage of the new building is similar to the space in the old outbuilding. But the prosecution had to share this with the health department, which will move into the old building of the youth center next year.
The county recently approved the renovation of the youth center on Sparling Avenue for $ 150,000.
The annex at 128 N. Cullen St. served as office space for Jasper County’s REMC employees until the early 1980s. It was bought by REMC in 1946 and rebuilt in its present form in 1954-56.
REMC, which opened its first office in rented space in the old Kresler Building (now the Beaver Law Building) on the corner of Van Rensselaer and Washington Streets, moved to its current location at 280 E. Wood Road in 1983.
Taulman said the annex, which also housed a third courtyard in the 1990s, was a maze of hallways and narrow spaces, which is why he appreciated the new space very much.
“It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to hang around here for another 20 years when people have me,” he said.