Ribbon-Cutting Celebration Held for $25.5 Million Renovation of the Grey Courthouse Office Building
Per Montgomery County:
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 8, 2021
A ribbon-cutting ceremony held Wednesday, Sept. 8, celebrated the renovation of the Grey Courthouse Office Building located at 27 Courthouse Square in Rockville. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz, Department of General Services Director David Dise, and other County officials for the celebration of the newly renovated 98,625 square-foot four-story building.
The Grey Courthouse office building 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 all 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 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 other County departments and operations including the Office of the County Executive’s Innovation Team, Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions Enterprise Resource Planning, Office of Human Resources (OHR) Training and Organizational Development Division, OHR Occupational Medical Services, Fire Rescue Occupational Medical Services and 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.”
“Today’s ribbon cutting of the newly renovated historic courthouse building is both exciting and momentous,” said Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz. By refurbishing this notable space, we will preserve our local history and continue the tradition of providing comprehensive services to our County residents.”
“This project represents an intelligent reuse of public buildings and demonstrates the County’s commitment to maximize the use of publicly owned assets,” said Department of Generals Services 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.”
The Grey Courthouse Office Building consists of the original 1931 Courthouse, which is connected to the Red Brick Courthouse, and the 1961 wing addition that fronts N. Washington St. The renovation preserves the historic exterior of the building and the ceremonial courtroom located on the third floor. Both the Red Brick Courthouse and the Grey Courthouse are designated local, State and National historical landmarks, designated historic in 1979 as part of the City of Rockville Local Historic District.
“We are happy to be in this wonderful new facility where we will continue to provide excellent service to our taxpayers who need assistance making real estate tax payments, to our title companies which we assist with property transfers and deed recordings, and to our businesses that may have questions about County excise taxes,” said Finance Department Director Mike Coveyou.
Dr. Raymond Crowel, director of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said, “For many years, Access to Behavioral Health Services has offered mental health and substance abuse screenings and referrals for low-income residents of all ages with no commercial insurance. It has been one of the most invaluable gateways to behavioral health services that DHHS makes available to the diverse communities of the County.”
“Access to Behavioral Health Services is one of the best kept secrets in the County,” added Dr. Rolando Santiago, chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services. “Going into the future, I see staff reaching out and marketing their assessment and referral services to all residents of Montgomery County including residents from the rich mosaic of racial, ethnic and immigrant communities present in the County.”
“As we stretch towards a future government that is just, liberating, and human, we root in the history of this Courthouse. Here leaders like Thurgood Marshall changed the system one small precedent at a time. Innovation starts small and scales in a shared commitment to a just world,” said Michael Baskin of the County Executive’s Innovation Team.
“It is a privilege to have a workspace steeped in history,” said Office of Procurement director Avinash Shetty. “Thurgood Marshall fought to uphold civil rights and today the Office of Procurement strives to achieve socioeconomic equity, enforcing laws such as the Prevailing Wage Law and Wage Requirements Law. We at the Office of Procurement appreciate the resources made available to us to conduct business on behalf of taxpayers and we strive to conduct our work with efficiency, transparency, collaboration and empathy.”
The project allowed the County to consolidate tenants within the Rockville Core from previously leased spaces into County-owned facilities. 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 into the new Wheaton Redevelopment building earlier in 2021.
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 this project. The design and construction cost for the project was $25.5 million which is financed with appropriation-backed debt funded through lease savings.
Additional information about the facility is available on the Department of General Services website.