05/21/09 — County close to Jeffreys move-in

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County close to Jeffreys move-in

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 21, 2009 1:46 PM

An $853,000 facelift of the county-owned Jeffreys Building (the old Federal Building) is nearing completion, and the move into the renovated offices could begin by mid-June and be completed by the end of the month.

The first to move will be the county's planning, inspections and environmental health departments, followed by human resources.

"Human resources needs a two-to three-week working period when there is not a break in its computer system -- a (pay)check is important to a lot of people," County Manager Lee Smith said. "We are all thankful and want it to work, so it probably will be the latter par of June before they move."

The move will free up 3,000- square-feet in the courthouse annex.

County Facilities Services Director Sue Farmer is working with the district attorney, judges and other judicial offices to divvy out that space, he said.

"They all have a need, and we could not accommodate all of them," Smith said.

Those plans are expected to be finalized within the next two weeks.

"We are dealing with a lot of things in the (courthouse) like security for judges, that is a big issue," Smith said. "We have people here where a judge might be here and the secretary might be six offices away. We try to consolidate people and give them a good working environment.

"The old law library in the old courthouse could be used for a county office, but we have not yet decided. It is just a few hundred square feet."

Work to be completed at the Jeffreys Building includes finishing the outside cleaning of the building. The move is being coordinated to transfer phones, the county's system already is in place, and computers.

"We have people working at nights and weekends migrating those things over," Smith said. "We are not buying any new computers, so they are trying to move on nights and weekends so there is no interruption of services. It is matter of timing.

"Pretty much everything is done. It is kind of like when you finish a house and they are doing the finishing work putting in the molding and those little details and making decisions on what moves."

The environmental health, inspections and planning departments will be located on the third floor. Emergency services, 911 and its general administration remain on the second floor.

Human resources will occupy the first floor.

The renovated building also will boast a station for one of the county's 12-hour EMS units. The unit will be moved from Center Street.

It will include a day area for rescue personnel and a training facility.

"That is something that we have lacked," Smith said. "We have not really had a place to train employees and do orientations sufficiently. We have had to kind of double up."

Commissioners are expected to take a walk-through tour of the building within the next few weeks.

The county had aside a certain amount of money over the past several years for the project and is using that appropriation to pay cash for the work.

D.S. Simmons was the contractor for the project that got under way last September.