Chesterton Tribune



30 year employee cuts ribbon at opening of new Porter County plaza

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Debby Boggs, a 30 year Porter County employee, cut the ribbon Tuesday at the ceremonial re-opening of the renovated plaza at the Porter County Administration Center in Valparaiso. Boggs, a receptionist for the county since 1987, was transferred to the Administration Center in the summer of 1993 when the building was first opened, almost exactly 25 years ago.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies are often done by elected officials. Starting a new tradition, the Board of Commissioners decided to use ribbon cutting ceremonies to highlight and honor outstanding county employees.

“Debby has been the first point of contact for taxpayers who visit or call county government. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Debby has excelled in making sure that our taxpayers always have a positive first impression of county government,” said Board of Commissioners President Jeff Good. “With her knowledge and understanding of county departments and staff, as well as her consistent upbeat and helpful demeanor, Debby is a role model for all county employees.”

Construction on the plaza began in September of 2017, and was substantially completed in May of this year. The 25 year old plaza was not ADA compliant, the steps were a trip hazard, concrete was crumbling and it was costly to maintain.

The newly renovated plaza is fully ADA compliant, with a sloped walkway and lighted handrails, making access easier for seniors and disabled. The walkway has an underground heating system to prevent ice and snow accumulation, improving safety and reducing salt and snow removal costs. It also includes an underground storage tank to collect storm water runoff that will be used to irrigate landscaping. The storm water collection system benefits the environment and helps the county meet MS4 public education requirements.

Raised tree planter boxes with ledges can be used as seating during warm weather for people to eat or relax in the downtown. Programmable exterior lighting will enhance security while improving aesthetics.

“In addition to making the plaza more accessible, safe, ADA compliant and less costly to maintain, it is now a comfortable and welcoming place for people to gather,” said Commissioner Laura Blaney. “We literally removed barriers and made it easier for people to visit and enjoy their county building.”

The new plaza was designed by American StructurePoint of Indianapolis and constructed by Gariup Construction of Gary.


Posted 6/7/2018





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