FLOYD COUNTY — Several layout options for the transition of the City-County Building to a judicial center were presented to the Floyd County Commissioners on Tuesday, though no formal recommendation was made.
The transition of the City-County Building into a judicial center is one of three projects that New Albany-Floyd County Building Authority board member Scott Stewart said are a part of the same vision.
The other two projects include relocating the health department as well as relocating and consolidating the county’s administrative offices. Stewart said he thinks they will have a formal recommendation for all three projects by the end of October.
“The long term objective of this project is to meet the long term needs of the county from an operational standpoint,” Stewart said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Other objectives, according to Stewart, include providing a design that has the best value to the taxpayer, best experience for consumers and customers and the best use of the county’s property.
Lara Dawson, an RQAW architect working on the project, presented two layout options for restructuring the City-County building.
“Since June 15th, our primary focus has been space planning and to really determine what’s truly needed for all of the offices involved to function properly, not only for today but 20 years from now how will they function,” Dawson said.
In order to determine what is necessary for each office, Dawson said she has personally met and interviewed almost every department head that led to the two designs she presented to the commissioners.
The traditional design presented would include six courtrooms and offered more independent spaces for different departments, but there was no space for the prosecutor’s office.
Dawson said that about 58,000 square feet will be needed to accommodate the demands of the program, while the current blueprint only offers 51,000 square feet.
The other option, which was referred to as a more innovative way of combining all of the offices in the space, includes more shared spaces between departments and consolidated chambers.
New Albany has moved out of the City-County Building into its own city hall, which has left the third-floor vacant.
Floyd County Commissioners President Shawn Carruthers said he felt they were presented with good options on Tuesday, even though they are still grappling with the space needs.
“We want to continue down that path to come up with a solution, something that’s gonna not only benefit us for today or tomorrow but 20, 30, 50 years from now we want to still make sure that our investment in this building is a good investment,” Carruthers said.
In regards to the other projects, Stewart said that they still need to determine where exactly the health department will be located, and if they are going to move the administrative offices to the current county annex building off Grant Line Road or build an addition onto the City-County building.