Floyd County government plans to relocate, remodel and build new offices – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

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Southern Indiana officials are moving forward with plans to renovate government buildings in Floyd County.

County officials currently operate from several different locations in New Albany, including the Pine View Government Center, the M. Lucille Reisz Building and the Baptist Health Floyd Campus. Its base for most services is the City-County Building, which opened 60 years ago as a shared government center for New Albany and Floyd County.

Now that New Albany has moved into its new City Hall, county officials are looking to restructure their facilities.

“We had a patchwork of infrastructure, like buying some of the old school buildings and moving government offices into those, said Floyd County Commissioners Chairman Shawn Carruthers. “These worked for a while, but now we’re a bit scattered. And we’re at a point where we really have to carefully consider where we are today and where we want to be in the future.

City-County Building to become a Judicial Center

Last week, county commissioners approved a floor plan that will turn the City-County Building into a judicial center. The New Albany-Floyd County Building Authority, an organization made up of city and county appointees, helps guide the process.

Building Authority board member Scott Stewart said the Judicial Center originally planned for nearly 57,000 square feet but the architects had to condense those plans to fit the building of 51,000 square feet. For this to work, some of the county’s administrative offices will be relocated.

“The first step was this analysis of the needs of our courts,” Stewart said. “We have a circuit court, three superior courts, and then the magistrate. What will be the greatest need for judicial space in the decades to come? »

The project will increase the size of courtrooms and criminal justice offices. The county clerk’s office will move to the first floor and an auxiliary courtroom will be built in the basement.

Authorities also want to move probation and community corrections from the M. Lucille Reisz Building on East Spring Street to the Justice Center. A potential location for probation offices is the Frank C. Denzinger Criminal Justice Center, which is adjacent to the City-County Building. The county owns the building, but it is currently occupied by the New Albany Police Department.

Stewart said he feels the urgency to repair the aging city and county building and hopes to present funding options to commissioners by the end of November. Work on the City-County Building could be completed between the end of 2023 and mid-2024.

“The box can no longer be thrown into the street,” Stewart said. “These are not easy decisions, because spending money is not an easy decision. But we cannot rely on future elected officials to decide what to do with a building that today requires intervention.

Consolidation of administrative services

The renovation is just one part of Floyd County’s three-part restructuring plan. The county wants to consolidate administrative functions under one roof.

The new administrative center will house offices for the auditor, treasurer, surveyor, assessor and recorder and will host county board meetings. This will eliminate the need for the Pine View Government Center. But the location of the new complex is still uncertain.

Two options are being considered: renovate the historic North Annex property on Grant Line Road or build a new structure downtown.

“It will partly depend on the condition of the building on Grant Line Road,” Stewart said. “The cost of building downtown, if that’s something we want to seriously consider, obviously parking and other issues like that will be factored into the decision.”

Stewart said he likes the Annex property’s proximity to Sam Peden Community Park, the county’s largest. He added that he also thinks it’s possible to partner with libraries, health care groups and other nonprofits and build a community center on the site.

Relocation of the health service

The third part of the Floyd County government facilities overhaul is finding a new home for the health department.

It is currently located on the Baptist Health Floyd campus, but the department’s agreement with the hospital to use the building is expiring soon.

Carruthers, chairman of the Floyd County Commissioners, said the M. Lucille Reisz building would be a “perfect” location for the health department, if the county can successfully move probation services to the justice center.

“We want to make sure our government is accessible to people who need those services, and so the Reisz building fits right into that perfect piece of the puzzle for us there,” Carruthers said. “That one was, for me, a no-brainer to really take a hard look at this place and make it a health service, because we have a need. We understand that we have a limited time at the current location, and we have exceeded that.

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