Saguache County Courthouse

Date: 8/21/2013 - 6/21/2016
Principal Researchers:


Location: Saguache, CO

An historic courthouse from the early part of the 20th century has served the community well for nearly a century, but the building, inefficient in terms of layout, technology and energy uses, needed a significant overhaul. The original scope of work was to provide either an annex or large scale addition/renovation to the building that would allow county functions to thrive into the 21st century. We explored various methodologies for solving the myriad storage and functional problems, interviewing various department heads, as well as county supervisors and making multiple presentations.

Inevitably, issues such as how to renovate without displacing existing offices became critical. In addition to energy usage, it became apparent that ADA compliance was a huge issue, and adjacencies required by various departments led to the realization that perhaps the county offices should move to a new building, leaving courthouse functions to the existing building. Cost and logistics became somewhat paralyzing.

Finally, we learned the hard lesson of “elections have consequences”. With a newly elected board of County Commissioners, the project was shelved in favor of a more modest reworking of the Sheriff’s offices/county lock up. This rendered the courthouse project as non-viable, hence we completed our work without providing a final project.

Project Team: 
Ben Wurzer, Holly Paris, Casandra Huff, Amanda Tharp, Nathan Paris
Local Participants: Jason Anderson, Linda Joseph, Wendi Maez
DOLA Regional Manager: Christy Cul

Colorado Center for Community Development

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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