County looks at building and space needs

Daviess County hired RQAW last fall to look at expanding county facilities and offices.  The county council and county commissioners held a joint meeting this week to talk about what the firm believes the county needs.

The Washington Times Herald says a feasability was done first to look at space, ADA compliance issues, security needs and more.

The study showed the county was short on space. There’s currently 24,000 square feet of available space not including the county highway department and offices.  RQAW says the county needs  44,000 sq. feet of space which is expected to jump to 55,000 within 20 years.

The Times Herald reports RQAW recommended the county consider tearing down the houses holding the offices for the IT, health department and county agent and put those offices in an annex that would also include the auditor, assessor, recorder, treasurer, commissioners and council. The firm suggested keeping the probation, clerk, courts and prosecutor’s office in an expanded and renovated courthouse.   The projected cost was 24 million dollars.
In addition the county courthouse does not comply with ADA standards according to Commission President Michael Taylor.  The cost of getting the courthouse where it needs to be was said to be $400,000.  A grant is being sought to help with that.

The county heard from Umbaugh and Associates on financial options for paying for the all the work work needed.

No action was taken as county officials will continue to take their time in looking at the matters and studying more of what needs done and how to fund the work.