Meridian Star

Local News

February 1, 2013

Study looks at needs of buildings


MERIDIAN —     The courthouse, built in 1905, holds the offices of the tax collector, tax assessor, circuit court, circuit clerk, chancery clerk, chancery court, district attorney and child support services. The study spells out what needs to be improved in each area. Those needs include getting more space for Chancery Court, adding an extra exit for judges, keeping prisoners away from judges and the public when they are being moved from holding cells to courtrooms, more filing space for Circuit Court Clerk, and more privacy for judges.

    In addition there are plaster problems, the plumbing needs to be totally replaced, and there needs to be upgrades to heating and air conditioning, humidity control, and energy efficiency, according to the report. Numerous other changes and upgrades need to be made with an overall estimated cost of courthouse renovations totaling $12.8 million.

Davis Annex

    At the Raymond P. Davis Annex Building, built as the Lamar Hotel in 1927, repairs also need to be made. It currently houses County Administration, including the Board of supervisors meeting room and offices, the Lauderdale County School District Administration offices, MSU Extension Services, Lauderdale County Justice Court, County Archives and History, and the Sheriff's Department.

    Repairs and reinforcement to the concrete joists/slab system at the basement floor framing will be required, according to the report.

    HVAC systems are aging and the plumbing system is no longer an efficient use of space and requires a great deal of maintenance. An electrical upgrade is also in order; plaster repair and wood trim work will also be required throughout the building, the report says. Those, along with other improvements, including exterior renovations, would total $17.6 million.

Ulmer Building

    Another county-owned building, the Ulmer Building, was constructed in 1918 and is being used as the County Maintenance Office and Shop. A complete new mechanical system will be required. One proposed use of the building is the Chancery Clerk's Office and Chancery Court. For that, an elevator would have to be installed and exterior restoration would be necessary. The total cost of repairs to that building would be $3.4 million.

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