Even before it is built, a proposed new county health department building is growing.
County commissioners, health nurse Krista Schneider, and engineer Darin Neufeld reviewed an architect’s first concept for the building Monday.
Changes Schneider requested to ideas that Chris Tillison of Alloy Architecture presented added 1,065 square feet to the now 5,180 square-foot proposed building.
The changes included addition of a kids’ play area, a second reception area, a copy room, expansion of a conference room to accommodate 15 people instead of eight, making two of the proposed eight offices larger, making one of two examination rooms larger, adding a third exam room, increasing the size of a general storage area, and adding a generator to ensure vaccines remain cold.
No proposed cost is available yet.
The building is to be located where the Marion food bank was on E. Main St.
Tillison said he expected his study of site feasibility to be finished by Sept. 18.
A design and cost estimate should be ready by Oct. 24, he said.
If approved, of the building, construction documents would be done by Jan. 8.
Commissioners Randy Dallke and David Crofoot will be involved with Schneider in ongoing planning. Their first meeting could be as soon as next week.
Neufeld will test for soil contamination because the location earlier was a service station.
Schneider said a drive-through would allow for installation of car seats and staff going to a client’s car when the client is unable to come inside.
She also said grants could cover items such as a tornado shelter and a generator for vaccines.
Commission chairman David Mueller told Tillison that commissioners needed to watch out for costs.
“But at the same time, we want a building that’s going to last into the future,” Mueller said.
In other business Monday, commissioners interviewed two candidates for road and bridge department supervisor, approved a proclamation on emergency preparedness month, heard a report from lake superintendent Isaac Hett on progress of work on the dam at the county lake, and approved an annual solid-waste agreement.