Mary Alice Reporting –

A building that will house the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections Office broke ground Tuesday morning.

Leaders, including county commissioners, election, and City of New Philadelphia officials, attended the ceremony on E. High Avenue.

Architect John Picard noted that residents will see workers move in soon.

“We’re going to be starting this project in the next week or so. The fences are going up and the trees are going down, and a year away from that, we’ll be back to have a ribbon cutting.”

Commissioner Chris Abbuhl pointed out that the funding for the project came from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and not through a tax, however, some dollars are set aside in case the project exceeds the estimate.

“$4.9 million project. The cost of material and the prices have all gone up but we’re very excited and we’re committed to making sure it’s done properly and with high quality standards.”

The multi-purpose building will have a main section, which will house the elections office, and then a back portion. While the two units will be internally connected, those visiting either side would have to use separate external doors.

Elections Director Gail Garbrandt added that history was made with the ground breaking and will benefit Tuscarawas County voters.

“This is going to give us the ability to do our training here, we’ll have all of our voting machines in one place, and they’ll be stored properly so they’ll last longer, and we’ll have much more room especially for the early voting.”

The building site is separated by Ashwood Lane NE. The front lot will be a parking lot. Another lot on the other side of the lane will have another parking space and the office. The goal is to also add a small park area at the very back.

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