Meridian Star

Local News

February 1, 2013

Study looks at needs of buildings

MERIDIAN —     A plan to renovate several county buildings comes with a high price tag, but officials aren't moving forward on the projects just yet.

    At a work session of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, architects presented the results of a study of five county-owned buildings with a total price tag of $39.5 million.

    Hank Florey, president of the Board of Supervisors, said he is pleased with the results of the study, which was conducted by Belinda Stewart Architects and looked at the Lauderdale County Courthouse, the Raymond P. Davis Annex Building, the Ulmer Building, the Ross Building, and the former Greyhound Bus Station.

    "They have brought electrical engineers in, they have brought mechanical engineers in, structural engineers ... because everything has to be reconfigured, the electrical, the plumbing, everything," Florey said.

    He said the best news he heard in the report Thursday was that the courthouse and annex buildings are structurally sound.

    "I was worried about that. I'm surprised but I'm glad to hear it," Florey said.

    The next step for the supervisors will be agreeing on a plan of action and communicating that with the architects. However, any plan, he said, will be done in phases and that is after the board can find funding for it.

    "We have several sources that we can tap for funding. I hope we can do this with grants, most of it, rather than have to float a large bond issue. It's going to cost money and we're going to have to bite the bullet down the line somewhere. It's got to be done somehow. We intend to do it by phases. It would take several years to finish, of course. I think it will be something the public will be proud of."

    During the study, Stewart Architects asked various county officials what the needs of their offices are.



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