Toal Building

The Toal building in Media closed in July after a beam became separated in the nearby garage.

MEDIA — Delaware County Council Vice Chairman Colleen Morrone doesn't mince words when it comes to the former Toal building site, especially when she's tired of waiting to move forward on the rubble.

"Earlier this year, I called it a mud pit," Morrone said of the property at Front and Orange streets in Media. "Well now, I think it's Delaware County's quarry. It is ... two parking lots filled with stones and rocks with no plans currently for new buildings to be constructed or new parking garages."

A year ago, a 6 foot tall, 25 foot long concrete slab came separated from its welds in one of the parking ramps in the former Orange Street garage. County officials approved the demolition of the Orange Street facility, as well as the nearby Sweeney and Toal buildings.

Employees who worked in those buildings from the county Planning Department, Park Police, Community Services and Public Defender's offices had to be relocated and jurors were directed to park beneath the county courthouse in spaces that had been used by employees.

Since last year's demolition, little has been done regarding the site. Part of that has been council's anticipation of a space study from the county's Common Pleas Court.

Morrone said she'd like council to discuss the matter and possible options at its next meeting on July 24.

"I think we need to look at all ideas and consider all recommendations and begin moving forward," she said.

County Council Chairman John McBlain said it would be prudent to move forward as the county must go through the land development process with Media borough officials.

Yet, he said, it would be good to look elsewhere.

"I still think that our best option would be to look to relocate some of the government administrative services to some other facility that's available where we don't have to sort of squeeze everything in," he said, adding that constructing another parking garage at the Orange Street site was one of the most expensive aspects of a rebuild there.

"Perhaps we should look elsewhere where we can have adequate parking ... and not have the expense of building a parking garage in a densely populated residential area," McBlain said.

He said his ideal would be to transform the front lot into a paved space for jurors, returning the courthouse spots to employees, and then, turning the area where the Toal and Sweeney buildings stood into a green space, which could be used in conjunction with Media Borough for public events.

County Executive Director Marianne Grace said she was optimistic that she would be meeting with court officials regarding the space study prior to the next council meeting and had hoped to make a presentation to council regarding the court's needs.

McBlain said he suspects that court officials will indicate they want more, not less, space.

And Morrone reiterated that it's time for progress.

"I think proceeding with that and getting that information will be helpful but I don't want it to stop the process for us beginning to move forward and look at other options because that will take some time as well," she said. "We've been waiting too long for it already and I'd really like to see us pass some plans developed for how we're going to address the property across the street."

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