Health Dept. building inches along

Monday, February 18, 2019

The county’s quest to build a new health department building took another step forward this week, in a long-running process that at times has seemed like a process of one step forward and two steps back.

The Marshall County building committee met on Monday to discuss how to proceed on the project now that plans for the building have been completed.

The committee voted to have the plans evaluated by a contractor in order to have an estimate of the construction cost of the building as drawn.

If needed, the plans can them be submitted to an architect for “value engineering”, reducing the cost of construction by adjusting some of the specified materials.

There have been concerns throughout the process that the design would come in over the budgeted amount, even before factoring in an estimated 30 percent increase in construction costs in the middle Tennessee region during the last two years.

The health department has seen double digit increases in patient visits for several years, outgrowing the current facility built in 1965 with an addition in 1996.

The building also suffers from issues with its electrical system, problems with heating and cooling, water damage, and settling in part of the foundation.

In 2017, the committee decided to build the new facility on the current lot, although some commissioners elected since then are questioning that decision and again asking about moving the health department from the Legion Avenue location.