Government Center Expansion

Rendering of the east side of the St. Croix County Government Center expansion.

Updated: November 17, 2022

Growing With Our Community

St. Croix County is experiencing an increased need for additional services to meet the needs of our growing County. We are the fastest growing County in the state of Wisconsin. As the need for services increase, the need for space to provide those services also increases. To meet future needs of residents, the County proposed an expansion to the existing Government Center Building in Hudson. We began exploring the need for this expansion in 2012.

This expansion will be the first major renovation of this building since it was built almost 30 years ago in 1993. This new expansion and renovation of the existing building is designed to meet the County’s needs for at least another 20-30 years. The expansion will support growth in the coming years and increase efficiency in the services we offer residents. This project is divided into 4 phases. Phase 1 is in progress. Phase 2 was approved for funding at the County Board Meeting on March 1.

Some important features of this expansion include:

  • Large centrally located entrance
  • Easy access to all departments
  • Space dedicated the Health and Human Services
  • Wide halls and elevators to improve accessibility
  • More meeting space and courtroom space with technology upgrades
  • More space to provide current and new services to residents
  • Sustainable design and use of alternative energies
  • Direct access to Vine Street. Creating two points of access to the Government Center
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Designed With People and Growth in Mind

The County Board, with input from County residents and employees, developed the County’s Strategic Plan. One of the goals outlined in this plan is to “serve our growing population by providing well-designed spaces that meet the needs of the County.” This expansion is an effort to meet this goal and better provide services for our County.

The architects are using the feedback from the masterplan study and from employees when creating the new design. They also looked to neighboring communities like Eau Claire and Red Wing to learn what design decisions they made in their government buildings to serve their communities.

Read the 2020-2021 Masterplan Study

Some members of the County Board of Supervisors toured the Government Center to talk with employees about their work and space needs. Here are the photos from that tour:

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Protecting Our Growing Community

The expansion to the Government Center will benefit the public safety of the residents and visitors of St. Croix County. This expansion addresses the need for additional courtrooms, children’s waiting areas for family court, dedicated jury deliberation rooms, and more space for the District Attorney and Victim Witness Offices to offer their services.

The expansion also includes more space for the Sheriff’s Office to train, store evidence, and protect our community. Some of these new or improved spaces include:

  • Public lobby
  • Secure indoor parking
  • Interview rooms
  • Training rooms
  • Evidence labs
  • Evidence storage
  • Airlocked evidence return area

As the need for public safety grows, so does the space and storage needs for law enforcement. The expansion includes additional space to securely house evidence for current and past cases.  For crimes that include possession of firearms or drugs, the County must retain the evidence for as long as that case can be active through trials and appeals. For some types of cases, we need to retain the evidence for specific lengths of time. For example, we must retain evidence from sexual assault cases for 40 years. This additional storage space features room for large evidence items like vehicles and coolers for evidence that must remain at specific temperatures. To improve safety for both the public and law enforcement, this plan includes an airlocked evidence return area to allow for contactless return of items to the public.

Want to know more? You can find more information about this project in the interview and FAQs below.

Interview with River Channel – December 2, 2021

The scope and cost of the expansion has decreased since the recording of this interview. The need for expansion expressed in this interview remains the same.

St. Croix County Administrator Ken Witt, Sheriff Scott Knudson, and District Attorney Karl Anderson sat down with Western Wisconsin Journal to talk about the Government Center expansion plans.