Hall County Supervisors consider 6 proposals for courthouse

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Updated: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:33:27 CST

After decades of discussion, Hall County Supervisors are closer to making a decision on renovations of the courthouse. Those renovations could cost up to 14 million dollars. Cost estimates were released today for two of the six proposals.

"I'm pleasantly surprised. I thought they might be over $15 million." Architectural firm Cannon Moss Brygger estimates option A3 to cost a high of 11.4 million dollars. This includes renovating the Public Safety Building to house additional courtrooms.

And among the other options, B-1, the firm estimates a high cost of nearly 14 million dollars. That includes a new addition, and tearing down the neighboring Health and Human Services building and Public Safety Center.
"This is a project that must be done."

The Hall County Courthouse can no longer properly accommodate court needs.

"The heating and the cooling are literally failing."

After plans fell through last month to buy a temporary courthouse, renovations to the historic courthouse will happen while some people are still working there. County Supervisors have looked at renovating the building in the past... but put it off.
"We're not going to kick the can down the road, we can't afford to."
Supervisor Chair, Bob McFarland says the best option will benefit the community for the long haul.
"This is something we're building for the next 75 years, not a patchwork that's just going to take us 15 years down the road."
Some Supervisors are already outspoken about what they'd like to see happen.
"I feel that an addition would be the way to go, but I haven't decided which one yet. There are several things we have to, A: obviously we have to be very concerned about the cost."
"The courthouse is beautiful, it's historical, I think that aesthetically we can make a great impression."
The Board of Supervisors will meet for a special presentation next Tuesday at 1 pm.
Chairman McFarland said they'll open the topic up for public input once the Board agrees on a proposal.