OTTAWA — Despite rumors to the contrary, the Putnam County Board of Commissioners asserts it has no plans to demolish an Ottawa landmark.

Following the recent posting of an ill-advised headline on a local media webpage, many area residents have expressed concern regarding the “proposed” demotion of the Armory on Ottawa’s Main Street.

“We are, at this point in time, not even contemplating tearing down the building,” Commissioner Mike Lammers stated on Tuesday. “It’s obviously a historical landmark.”

Built in 1918 during World War I, the over 100 year old armory served a specific purpose through four wars: WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

“It was built to bring troops in and bus them back out,” Commissioner John Schlumbohm said. “And it was there for protection, to defend the courthouse and the community.”

Now serving as an annex to the courthouse, the building houses the offices of the County Prosecutor, Juvenile Probation, IT Department, and the Putnam County Veterans Service Commission. And still, there is room to spare.

“That behemoth has twice the square footage we need, just because of the layout,” Schlumbohm said, adding the county’s financial investment in the armory is ongoing. At present, one of five HVAC units in the building is being replaced, with future renovations to include repair of concrete steps at the rear of the building, window upgrades, and attention to its facade. All told, these improvements are estimated to cost roughly $50,000.

Which isn’t to say the commissioners are’nt interested in divesting themselves of the property. However, rather than tear the armory down, the commissioners have floated the idea of selling the structure at some point in the future.

“At least two years down the road, if we decide to build an additional building to house the county employees there, or maybe consider an administrative building, we will then look to sell that building,” Lammers said.

“We’re not going to completely renovate the building, and then sell it in two years,” Schlumbohm added. “We’re going to maintain the building.”

Though still years away from any potential sale, the possibility hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“We’ve already got a couple of people who have said they’re interested,” Commissioner Vince Schroeder reported.