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Committee begins to consider next phases of County Building
Bill Pegler

Now that construction has begun on the County Building, the Ad Hoc Building Committee began considering the next phases of construction at its Sept. 25 meeting.

The current , approximately $4.5 million Phase 1 plan underway will add a new single point of entry lobby and a second jury trial room while making other interior changes to add security and additional office space. Construction is expected to be completed in June of 2021.

 Phases 2, 3 and 4 were taken up at the September meeting to prepare a resolution asking the County Board of Supervisors to provide funds to develop schematics and determine feasibility of the phases for the next County Board meeting. Phases 2 and 3 would provide for the construction of a new Health & Human Services (HHS) building and a new County Administration building at a location to be determined. Phase 4 would remodel the existing county administrative office building for reuse by the Sherriff’s Office and jail, dispatch, the medical examiner, and Corporation Counsel.

One possible location under consideration is a 37-acre lot at the northeast corner of Park St and North St in the Village of Friendship. The property is owned by the City of Adams through the Burt Morris Estate agreement. Initial conceptual designs show the new county administrative campus, including the new HHS facility, and a large parking lot in the lower half of the 37-acre lot. Alliant Energy is reportedly interested in placing a new substation in a six-acre portion of the lot near the northwest corner of the lot.

Some of the benefits to the proposed location that were discussed included its closeness to the Court House, its central location within the county, the possibility of extending water and sewer service west, along North St., for future City of Adams development along the south side of North St, and the creation of a park just north of the administrative campus in the remaining available green space.

Phase 2 (the new 36,000 sq ft administrative building) and Phase 3 (the new 40,000 sq ft HHS building) may be combined into a single phase. A conference center, connecting the two structures, is also planned. By centralizing meeting rooms into a single space, meetings can be held during non-business hours without allowing access to the other two buildings.

The proposed resolution, if adopted, would only release funds for developing more detailed information about cost, design, and siting for the proposed phases so that the County Board of Supervisors can evaluate next steps, if any.

Current Phase 1 construction is behind schedule by two weeks due to unexpected issues related to the building footings, but it is expected that the lost time will be made up as construction proceeds. When relocating the transformer to the building, the temporary generator that was set up failed causing a service outage at the County Building for several hours.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 30.