Politics & Government

Overseer of Kentucky court system moving offices to former Home Depot

FRANKFORT — The Administrative Office of the Courts will move into a former Home Depot in Frankfort, a move officials say will save the state millions of dollars during the next decade.

AOC officials said Monday that they plan to sign a lease-to-purchase contract for the Home Depot property on Vandalay Drive in Frankfort, which is off U.S. 127. The Home Depot has been vacant for several years.

The agency, which oversees administrative and other tasks associated with operating the state's court system, now pays $1.3 million in rent for seven buildings at Millcreek Park in Frankfort.

By moving to the former Home Depot, the AOC will be able to have all of its 240 employees in one building rather than seven. The courts will use money that it has saved from other sources during the past two years to pay for renovations of the new space, court officials said.

The courts intend to buy the building, which has a maximum price of $5.9 million, before the seven-year lease is up, reducing the cost of the building, said Laurie Dudgeon, executive director of the courts.

"The AOC will save $200,000 a year for the length of the lease, and we'll own the building outright in seven years, with the intention of paying it off sooner to reduce the purchase price," Dudgeon said. "We'll save at least $1 million each year in rent once the purchase is complete."

Renovations could begin as early as spring.