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.
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
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.