Beginning in the Spring of 2017, MARCH Associates began working with Oneida County on an ambitious project to renovate the tenth floor of the Oneida County Office Building. This floor is home to the County Executive office suite, the County Attorney office suite, the Board of Legislators office suites, and the Russell W. Williams Legislative Chamber. After completing modest upgrades to the ninth floor to accommodate the relocation of all employees, renovation of the tenth floor began with the abatement of asbestos containing floor tile, steel fireproofing, and other various materials across the floor.
The programmatic goals of the project were to create office suites that enable better collaboration between departments, and also to provide additional conference rooms with improved technology for internal meetings as well as legislative activities. These enhancements were achieved in part by reducing the size of the Legislative Chamber, a cavernous space that was not well configured to suit the need of the Legislature. The redesigned chamber creates a more intimate feel, while providing ample public seating. Legislatures sit in a horseshoe configuration designed to allow for visibility and dialogue between the Chairman, Legislators, and the public. New technology as part of this upgrade to the Chamber allow for improved live streaming of meetings, electronic voting, and interactive presentations. A glass cabinet containing historic artifacts of the legislative body dating back to the early 1800s is also prominently displayed within the chamber.
Other improvements to the floor include renovated bathrooms, improved wayfinding, and upgraded finishes. Display features were added to the elevator lobby and corridors to capture both the history and spirit of Oneida County, creating a unique and distinguished feel to the epicenter of Oneida County governance.