Planning for a 160,000 square-foot Barron County Highway garage has reached a stage where county staff members and supervisors are teasing out details and choosing materials for the project.

Approved by the County Board earlier this year, the $25 million project includes the main garage and three other structures, proposed for the Highway Department campus on either side of Wisconsin Hwy. 25, at Barron.

The Board of Supervisors Highway Steering Committee met Tuesday morning, Oct. 13, at Veterans Auditorium, to discuss the project. County Board members in attendance included Gary Nelson, Dist. 10, town of Maple Grove; Marv Thompson, Dist. 20, Rice Lake; Roberta Mosentine, Dist. 11, Barron; Jim Gores, Dist. 9, town of Clinton and village of Almena; Pete Olson, Dist. 12, city of Barron; and Dale Heinecke, Dist. 29, towns of Lakeland and Maple Plain.

Representatives of Chippewa Falls-based CBS Squared were also in attendance. The County Board has hired the company to plan the Highway Department improvements.

Led by company vice president Bob Sworski, the CBS Squared staff members walked the group through the details for the new structure, which will be several times the size of the county’s existing garage, built in 1947.

During the meeting, Highway Department workers asked about the location of hydraulic lifts and other equipment, the layout of the work space, and the portion of the building that includes public spaces such as the reception area, meeting rooms, a 150-capacity meeting/break room, and washrooms.

Planning has reached the point where the designers are estimating the size of desks in office work stations, the clustering of restrooms to minimize plumbing and promote energy efficiency, the kinds of materials for storage room walls, and even wall-mounted bathroom fixtures.

Besides the garage, itself, new construction at the Barron facility is also expected to include:

• A 33,500 square-foot cold storage building.

• A garage to house vehicles owned by the Aging and Disability Resource Center, as well as passenger vehicles now parked outside behind the County Government Center.

• A two-compartment wash bay, which will be built near a fuel depot added to the campus in 2019.

County authorities hope to begin construction next year.