ST. GEORGE — Dozens of people gathered in downtown St. George for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the completion of the Washington County Boulevard Office Building’s exterior remodel.
“We’ve given a facelift to this beautiful building,” Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson told the crowd gathered in the office building’s parking lot. “This whole project started because we had to replace a leaking roof.”
Iverson joked that, for many years, employees in the county’s Justice Court, located on the top floor, had to bring out buckets to catch water dripping from the ceiling when it rained.
The majority of the Boulevard Office Building, located at 176 E. 100 North, was built in 1966 and was originally the home of a Ford Motors dealership before becoming Boulevard Home Furnishings in the mid-1970s. The furniture store relocated across town in 2000 with the county claiming the building next.
“Over the course of decades we have continued to patch things and fix things and got to the point the roof was in need of major repair,” said Nichole Felshaw, the county administrator.
In order to repair the roof, particularly the western side that was in very bad shape, the building’s mansard, or mushroom-top looking roof, needed to be removed, Felshaw said.
“We determined it would be best practice to take off the mansard roof so we could fit that roofing material on properly, and that triggered the remodel,” she said.
Remodel work began in June of this year and concluded by Dec. 17.
The original price of the remodel was around $1.25 million. However, as the need to address safety concerns related to roof arose, the cost jumped to $1.5 million.
The remodel also enabled county officials to request the new exterior design match the architecture found in downtown St. George. Felshaw said this helps add to the city’s ongoing revitalization project of the downtown area.
“There’s a lot to be said for the buildings we work in and drive by, and we hope this is a representation of St. George and Washington County should look like,” Washington County Commission Gil Almquist said.
Numerous individuals were recognized by county officials prior to the ribbon-cutting, but none more so than the late Greg Mathis, who designed the Boulevard Office Building’s new exterior.
A well-known area businessman who owned and founded MRW Design, Mathis died in November 2018 from a fatal fall while vacationing in Mexico.
“He had his heart in this community and all the projects he has worked on and designed and we are sincerely grateful for him,” Almquist said.
Mathis’ wife, Jessica Mathis, was recognized by the commissioners and accepted a plaque on her late husband’s behalf. Mathis’ brother, Jeff Mathis, who has since taken over his late brother’s responsibilities at MRW Design, was also given a plaque and thanked by commissioners for coming onto the project and seeing “his brother’s vision to the end.”
The exterior work on the Boulevard Office Building is counted as the first phase of its overall remodel, Felshaw said. In the future, the county plans to dedicate the entirety of the office building to the Washington County Justice Court while all other services and departments currently located there will be moved into a newly-built County Administrative Building.
Other county departments and services presently housed in the office building include the County Assessor’s Office and County Recorder.
Once that is done, the interior of the office building will undergo an exterior remodel to better suit the needs of the justice court and associated services.
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