Making the second floor of the 1887 J. Bowron building usable for offices would probably require temporarily relocating the Health Department and cost as much as $500,000, Dan Hall of BG Consultants told County Commission on Monday.
Hall said he had studied the building four years ago. He said sagging floor joists would have to be beefed up. The existing construction wouldn’t meet current building codes for office use. The building’s roof needed major work when he first looked at it in 2007, he added.
Hall said that if he owned the building and money was no object, he would prefer to restore the building.
With the first and second floors combined, the building has about 6,000 square feet of space. Commissioner Dan Holub asked for an estimate of what a new office building would cost per square foot.
Hall said $150 per square foot was a good starting point. A new building with 6,000 square feet of space on one floor would probably cost between $750,000 and $1 million.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said a new building might save the county money in the long run. A new building should have lower utility costs. It could also allow having a single reception area for several departments, he added.
The commission requested Hall prepare a more precise estimate for a new 6,000 square foot office building. They said there was no rush, because there are plenty of other county projects ongoing already.
Hall asked whether the commission had a location in mind. They said north of the new jail site could work, if an office building would fit.