New county office building is ready for occupancy
After about nine months of construction, the county building that will house the elections office, parks and recreation offices and Maple Leaf Adult Daycare is complete.
The building, located on Elmwood Way next to the Senior Resources Center in Waynesville, was formerly the Bargains building that sold cabinetry, carpet and tile before it closed down.
“We used it for storage until it got in such bad shape we had to do something with it,” said Dale Burris, the county's director of maintenance and facilities.
The 11,800-square foot building was completely renovated specifically for these county offices. In February 2013, the county commissioners voted to enter negotiations with John Burgin Construction, to complete the work. Burgin's contract was for about $1.1 million and the design cost was about $34,000. The cost came out to about $120 per square foot, which Burris said was a great savings.
The initial work was paid for by the proceeds of other property sales in the county, including two buildings in Waynesville on a 1.79-acre tract of land sold to a division of Smoky Mountain Center for continued use as mental health office buildings.
The parks and recreation department and adult daycare are moving into the new building at the beginning of March, but Burris said the election office would be waiting until after the primary in May to relocate. The elections office will occupy the front offices of the building — which include a boardroom, offices, front window for customers, voting supply storage, a kitchen area and bathrooms.
The parks and recreation offices will occupy three offices in the middle of the building. Maple Leaf Adult Daycare will much more room than they do in its current building, Burris said. While the current space can accommodate 20 people, the new space can accommodate 40 people — allowing the daycare to expand its services. The new space includes a lobby with cubbies for storage, bathrooms, nurse’s office, director office, a large open space for activates and a kitchen.
There also is about 2,000-square feet of unfinished office space at the back of the building that can be completed if there is a need in the future. Burris said the new building is well insulated, which makes for a very energy efficient building with great fire protection.