By Jim Melwert

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (CBS) — Montgomery County is taking the first steps on plans to renovate the court house and county office buildings in Norristown.

The Montgomery County board of commissioners okay’d a $937,000 contract with Athenian Rezak to begin the planning design phase of the project. The plan would build an addition and renovate the courthouse parking garage along Main Street and Hancock Square.

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Other proposals were introduced but commissioners chairman Josh Shapiro says the Main Street addition and renovation would allow them to move other county offices in other locations to a central location in Norristown.

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“We can actually bring our county family a lot closer together and create this campus, and create a more safe environment for our judges and the court related functions,” Shapiro said.

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County officials say doing nothing is not an option as the One Montgomery building that houses county offices needs significant upgrades. Depending on the size of the addition, the estimated price tag would range from about 240-million to 276-million.