Be part of the town in town hall meeting
Wed, 06/08/2016 - 12:05am
It’s likely to be a million-dollar question. The Habersham County Commission has scheduled a 6 p.m. June 13 town hall meeting, during which the board will be directly discussing an architectural assessment of the current government administration building, more commonly known as the old courthouse.
The architectural assessment is by Precision Planning Inc., the county’s on-call Lawrenceville-based architectural firm. The firm is also assessing several other potential sites to construct a new building.
Whether to upgrade the old courthouse building, or instead build anew has been a percolating issue, since even before the new courthouse was completed.
Besides being ugly, the old courthouse is expected to be costly to upgrade for long-term government administration use. Because of the anticipated cost, commissioners are evaluating other potential building sites, including beside the new courthouse, on land next to the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center and at the back part of the old courthouse parking lot.
Staying in the current building minimally means a new roof and new heating and air conditioning system, carrying a rough cost estimate of $100,000 for the roof, $900,000 for HVAC and $100,000 for building rewiring. Other costs, including interior work, could very well trigger having to make the whole building Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.
The fact is no plan for a government administration building will be cheap.
It’s very likely the issue of an administration building will likely boil down to where else and for how much?
Nonetheless, the issue is very important to the public. Since original plans called for the former courthouse to be refashioned into an administration building, commissioners should lay their cards out on the table on what they are planning to do.
The commission should be commended for holding the hearing, providing the public with the opportunity to learn how taxpayer funds will, or will not, be spent.
And we must do our part. Plan on attending the town hall meeting, learn what your commissioners are considering and participate in your local government.