Some Floyd County facilities are bursting at the seams; others have unused rooms, and collections are due to start April 1 for a SPLOST package that contains new construction.
County Manager Jamie McCord has been reviewing proposals from consultants who want to lay out the best use of the space going into the future. He said Monday that he hopes to have a recommendation for the County Commission at its March 12 meeting.
An $8 million agricultural center is a cornerstone of the 2017 special purpose, local option sales tax package. There’s also $2,450,000 for a new public works building at the Black’s Bluff Road complex and $5 million for renovations at the Historic County Courthouse.
The county’s projecting revenue of just over $8.2 million a year, but officials could opt to do some projects earlier by issuing SPLOST-backed bonds. The comprehensive space utilization study could help them decide.
“This will give us a perspective on how we prioritize our renovations and new facilities ... as well as plan for future expansions, specifically in the Judicial Building,” McCord said.
Caseloads are rising at the Judicial Building downtown — which houses all the courts, records, judges’ offices, public defender, victim advocate and district attorney’s offices — and a new building proposal didn’t make the cut for the SPLOST package. Instead, the Citizens Advisory Committee suggested shifting over some offices when the historic courthouse next door is renovated.
Also in the mix is the County Administration Building on Fourth Avenue. Departments in that structure include the county manager, county clerk, wellness nurse, finance, purchasing, information technology, facilities management, human resources, Cooperative Extension Service, elections, engineering, public defender staff and the special projects manager.
The consulting firm also will be working with the Floyd County Health Department, 12 E. 12th St., where there’s 10,000 to 20,000 square feet of unassigned space, and the Forum River Center. The request for proposals asks the firm to look at the Forum specifically to determine the best future use.
“We want to maximize our space utilization going forward with the new and renovated facilities,” McCord said.
Representatives from eight firms attended a mandatory pre-bid meeting, although it’s unclear if each submitted a proposal. The work includes verifying the existing space, looking at parking and disability needs and recommending a plan based on needs for the next 30 years.