County has $6M plan for new offices

Proposal to 'paint and polish' old facilities may be jettisoned

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br>
The county public works department has suggested that the Board of Supervisors consider demolishing the Arnold Plaza building on Oak Street instead of attempting to renovate it.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br> The county public works department has suggested that the Board of Supervisors consider demolishing the Arnold Plaza building on Oak Street instead of attempting to renovate it.

KINGMAN - Mohave County staff will recommend an alternative to renovating the county's three public works buildings on Andy Devine Avenue and the demolition of an old county building to the Board of Supervisors Monday.

According to information provided to the Board, staff is asking them to consider the possibility of building a new nearly $6 million building to house the public works offices. The new building could be built near the current public works buildings or near the new Development Services Center on Kino Avenue.

The majority of the money to fund the new building would come from the Highway User Revenue Funds the county gets from the state; one-sixth of the funds would come from a loan from the Sanitary Landfill Closure Fund. The loan from the landfill fund would be paid back over the next 15 years.

According to a 2005 Arizona Attorney General opinion, HURF moneys, which are supposed to be used for the upkeep and creation of roads in the county, can be used to build offices to house county public works or road departments.

The original plan had been to "paint and polish" the old building, said Deputy County Manager for Public Works Mike Hendrix.

According to information provided to the Board from the department, the renovation project would have included the reconfiguring the office space inside the building, new paint, new carpeting, etc. The upgrades would have cost around $400,000 to $500,000, according to bid estimates submitted to the county procurement office, and possibly have added another 10 years of life to the building before a structural remodel would have been necessary. The total cost for maintenance of the three buildings for the next 50 years would be approximately $5.5 million, according to the public works department.

The county had first considered replacing the building in 2006, but the cost of labor and material were too expensive due to the housing boom, Hendrix said.

"We always felt it was in the best interest of the county to provide a new building for the offices," he said.

According to information provided to the Board, the Hardy building was built in the 1970s; the other two buildings were built in the early to mid-1980s.

The entire complex was once owned by E.W. Hardy Turquoise, Hendrix said. He believes the county purchased the buildings from the family in 1989 or 1990.

According to information provided to the Board, the entire complex houses more than 26,100-square feet of office and workspace. The new building would be based off the design of the Development Services Center and would have more than 36,300 square feet of space and a 50-year service life.

A new building would allow for growth, better customer service and increased department efficiency, according to information provided to the Board.

The public works offices are not the only building on Monday's Board agenda. Staff is also recommending that the county demolish the Arnold Plaza building on Oak Street in downtown Kingman. According to information provided to the Board, the building was vacated in 2005 after the new County Administration Building on West Beale Street was completed. The building was constructed in 1967 and is need of a new roof, a new fire sprinkler system, new heating and cooling systems, mold removal, possible asbestos removal and other general repairs.

The cost to replace only the roof would be around $200,000 according to the public works department. The cost to renovate the building and make it usable office space for about 100 employees would be more than $1.9 million and the cost to demolish the building, including the cost of asbestos abatement, would be about $635,000.