New SCAB is halfway complete

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER/Chinook Observer</I><BR>The new South County Administration Building is located off Sandridge Road and will be completed sometime next year.

LONG BEACH - The South County Administration Building is nearing the halfway point in its completion and final bids for all of the interior finish work should be completed by the end of July according to County Administrator Bryan Harrison. The $5.2 million project is on budget and on time Harrison says and should be completed some time in March or April of 2009.

The 26,000 square foot building at 7013 Sandridge Road will house all of the county's services including South District Court, economic development services, human health services, sheriff's office, and satellite offices for the auditor, assessor and treasurer. Meeting rooms will also be conveniently located in the new structure. The building was begun in early 2008 and the shell is now nearing completion according to Harrison. Workers from Kaufman and Sons out of Olympia are putting final touches on the exterior of the building and on insulation.

Widening of Sandridge Road and adding turn lanes to take alleviate anticipated traffic congestion when the South County Administration Building opens for business was completed last spring.

Funding for the project came from $1 million the commissioners set aside and the remainder was financed with bonds they authorized. Harrison said Bank of Pacific has been very helpful in the financing process. Bids from subcontractors should be finalized by the end of the month and work on drywall, plumbing, electrical and other interior items should be underway soon after.

Completion of the parking area and landscaping will also be done by next spring.

"For now the county shop will stay where it is," Harrison explained. "There is space available for a county shop by our new building, but the commissioners are waiting on funding before building a new shop and moving the equipment." When the new South County Administration Building opens its doors, the public works office will move into the present county building in Long Beach. The hazardous waste dump site will also remain at the Long Beach site for the time being.

After the move to the Sandridge site is complete, the present county building and annex will for the most part be vacant. "The commissioners have not as yet determined a purpose for the existing buildings." For the time being the public works office will relocate to the ground floor and the upstairs will be used for storage. The annex is a triple-wide mobile home and could possibly be moved to another site in the future.

"People will be glad to be able to take care of all of their public services in one place and there will be much less traffic congestion in downtown Long Beach," Harrison concluded.

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