Plans for a new Bulloch County administrative annex building are moving forward.
Kevin Palmer, the founding principal architect of Statesboro-based Palmer Architects, gave a brief presentation on the preliminary planning his firm has done for the building to the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting Tuesday.
Afterward, the board voted 5-0 to extend the contract, allowing Palmer Architects to proceed to the next phase, schematic design and preconstruction. Commissioner Walter Gibson and Vice Chairwoman Ethridge were absent for the vote.
The new annex would be built next to the county’s current North Main Annex building.
Palmer’s presentation to the commissioners included conceptual drawings of the new annex, which depicted a brick building set back from the street with a walkway that circles a flagpole immediately in front of what he called the pedestrian entrance, which would face North Main Street. Pedestrian and bicycle access were important considerations in the preliminary design, Palmer said, noting that the area also is designated to have a bicycle trail in City of Statesboro’s master plan. Parking would be in the back, and there would be an entrance on that side as well.
“Another thing it was pretty important to do was certainly to create a front yard so that we’re inviting people to walk along the streetscape and enjoy the environment along North Main,” he said. “And doing that will create a pedestrian entry along North Main, and then we’re directing all the vehicular traffic to the back.”
Palmer said the building, planned to be roughly 13,000 square feet, would be designed in such a way as to allow an expansion of up to 20,000 square feet in the future.
“We’re looking at what we’re doing in relation to the existing parking for this (current annex) building,” he said. “We’re trying to make it pedestrian friendly, create some open spaces, how it interacts with the other buildings around it.”
The building is projected to cost roughly $2 million, though County Manager Tom Couch said he expects that competitive bidding on aspects of the project should bring down the cost. The county would pay for the building using remaining funds collected by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax levied in 1997 and 2007.
Commissioners said they were pleased how the project is progressing.
I think that’s a good-looking building,” Commissioner Anthony Simmons said. “Things are going in the right direction.”
“I think that building is going to look good on that lot,” Commissioner Ray Mosley added.
Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.