By this time next year, you may be doing business with some of your courthouse public officials at the Town and Country Shopping Center location.
The county commission has not yet made it official, but County Mayor Mike Foster says it appears more likely that at least four of the offices in the courthouse will be moving, possibly by next spring. "I would think we are looking at probably sometime next spring. The way it looks, it would probably be Trustee, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and Property Assessor. At least those offices. There's still some discussion about the election commission and my office (County Mayor). One of those two offices probably will go (to the shopping center). That way the rest of the courthouse will be opened up for space that everybody needs for the courts and some storage too."
One of the officials, probably the county clerk, is expected to have his own drive through window at the shopping center location to better serve the public.
J & S Construction is currently conducting a "Job Summary" at the old shopping center complex but so far no company has been selected by the county commission to do the actual renovation construction, although several architects have submitted plans for the design and layout of the facility.
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Foster says the final plans will include space for a variety of purposes. "We've got five architects that have submitted plans. They have submitted what they have done for free and they (county commission) will pick whoever they want for that. The layout we're doing is preliminary just to make sure everything fits in to account for space. In it (layout) right now is an auditorium with a stage to seat about 250 people, which could be used for performing arts, meetings or whatever. There's an exercise weight room, a game room, and for lack of a better word there's like a semi-gymnasium type area of about 4,500 square feet that could be used for kids to do whatever they want to do. It would probably have a basketball goal and things for recreation but it won't be like a full gym. The senior citizens center would be next to that (gym) and next to a museum. There's capacity for about six rooms for Motlow State Community College to have night classes and there will be a center in there for computer literacy to help industries and where, if they're having training, they can come over there and use those. We'll also have the two rental spaces and the county (public officials) offices. They're all (offices) pretty much the same size and we'll have an archives storage area in there of about 1,600 to 1,700 square feet. Right now, the plans are to have a drive through window on the south end there which will be part of where the Pizza Inn was. There's also a space in the back at one of the loading docks for the Second Harvest Food Bank that hopefully the churches are going to see to like the Methodist Church here does. They have a really good ministry through the Second Harvest Food Bank and we want to give them that space in there to continue that. All the churches contribute but the Methodist church here initiated it. They do have a lot of input from other churches and organizations. These are things that are still in the plans as of today. It's just a matter of getting them all situated and laid out to where they all fit in. We're trying to make sure that the space is there to do all these things." Read the rest of this article