Health Department renovation to be over a million dollars

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By Ivory Riner

Staff Writer

It is to cost over a million dollars if the Marshall County Building Committee decides to rebuild the Marshall County Health Department.

The health department building has been a high priority for the committee after hearing of many problems, ranging from mold growing on the walls and floors to lack of space in rooms and hallways, among others. But after Thursday's meeting, the committee was shocked when it heard how much it would cost.

It is to cost around $1 million to $1.3 million to renovate the 6,500 square foot building, reported architect James Kennon of Kennon Calhoun Workshop. This would include replacing the windows and purchasing a new heating and air conditioning unit.

"You never know what you're going to find when renovating a building. We would have to have a contingency," said Kennon.

Since the building sits on a 5-acre lot, it gives the committee the option to tear down the existing building and construct a new one on the lot. Kennon estimated the cost for a new 7,000-square foot structure to house the health department to be around $1.2 million to $1.4 million. If a new building were constructed, it would be to the east of the current building, and likely be similar to the health department in Bedford County.

"Is 7,000 enough square footage for the future in case we need more space?" asked Joe Boyd Liggett, Marshall County mayor. Kennon said new construction is a "chicken and egg" situation as to how much the county wants to spend.

If the committee votes for a new building, ultimately the cost will come down to the number of staff members and how big of a facility the health department needs.

The decision to renovate or rebuild is to be presented at the next county commission budget meeting.

Library

On May 16, Leadership Marshall is to add onto the Marshall County Memorial Library. It will install stadium seating on the front lawn with a handicapped-accessible sidewalk leading down from the parking lot. The project will have a courtyard type theme with picnic tables and benches for people to come and relax.

The Foundation Committee allocated the money to fund the expansion.

"This addition is a great space for people, and it ties into the new construction going on at Rock Creek Park," said Lacy Hooten, member of the Friends of the Library club.

Roof repairs

Kennon also gave estimates on repairs to a pair of troublesome roofs. One, the Marshall County Jail, would be $18,000 if the room is repaired. Also, the committee received replacment bids. One bid to replace the roof is $185,000, but another bid for a more durable option is $245,000. Both replacements would come with a 20 year warranty, but the more expensive replacement would last longer than 20 years.

And, to repair and install a coating over the entire roof to the Marshall County Courthouse Annex, Kennon said, will cost $15,000.