County will spend up to $70K for design of addition on administration building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2016 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – The Orleans County Legislature approved hiring the Wendel firm to design an addition on the County Administration Building on Route 31, behind The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center.

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has approved an agreement with the Wendel firm to design an addition on the County Administration Building, new space that could be used for relocated county offices and perhaps as a meeting room and offices for the Legislature itself.

The Legislature on April 27 announced that is was considering new construction on the County Administration Building at 14106 Route 31 West.

The Legislature on April 27 authorized paying Wendel $30,000 for a feasibility study for an addition to the County Administration Building.

The county may shift several offices to the addition, including the Board of Elections and Public Health Department, which is leasing space from Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services.

Comprehensive purchased the former county nursing home for $7.8 million in January 2014. The county has been leasing space from Comprehensive for Elections and Public Health because those offices are part of the nursing home complex.

The county could also shift information technology (currently in Treasurer’s Office), the legislative chambers (in County Clerk’s Building), the county’s administrative office (also in Clerk’s Building) and create large multi-use rooms to accommodate training for large groups, conference rooms and offices.

The Legislature last week approved paying Wendel up to $70,000 to design the addition to the Administration Building. That scope of work not only includes designing the building, but determining parking and circulation needs, site access, utility service requirements, energy efficiency and sustainability requirements, and other analysis of the site.

David Callard, the County Legislature chairman, said in April that moving Elections and Public Health from leased space will free up money that could go towards the addition, perhaps making the project cost neutral to county taxpayers.

Callard said he and county officials have looked at existing buildings, including sites in Albion’s historic downtown, but those sites wouldn’t improve efficiency of the county government operations.