The Linn County Board of Supervisors has selected OPN to provide architectural services for the new building that will house the Linn County Public Health Department and Linn County Child &Youth Development Services. OPN was one of seven architectural firms that submitted proposals in response to Linn County’s Request for Qualifications. The Board of Supervisors and staff interviewed the seven firms last week.
The other six firms were:
• Ament Design
• Aspect Inc.
• Design Dynamics / Knapp Warden
• Heery Design
• Novak Design Group
The building will be located on county-owned property at 1019 7th Street SE in Cedar Rapids, the former site of Options of Linn County. During the design process, Linn County will hold community outreach meetings to engage the public and help ensure the building’s design and function fit the context of the historic neighborhood that includes the New Bohemia District and Oak Hill Jackson neighborhood.
“This neighborhood is really becoming a thriving area, and we look forward to having a county presence again and being a good neighbor,” said Ben Rogers, chair of the Linn County Board of Supervisors. “There will be opportunities for innovative early childhood education programming for the kids and to make this a healthy building and atmosphere for the children, staff and customers who visit.”
The design will include watershed management, storm water management, flood mitigation strategies, LEED certification, ADA compliance and biophilic design which incorporates elements of nature.
The Linn County Public Health department has outgrown its current space, which is in need of structural repairs. The County looked at the alternatives to new construction and found that remodeling and expanding the current building to meet current and future needs would cost nearly as much as a new building.
Child & Youth Development Services, which will also be housed in the new location, is currently in the former Fillmore School building which also requires significant repairs, including a roofing project estimated to cost approximately $1 million.
Construction of the new approximately 45,000 square foot building is expected to begin in spring 2017 with project completion in June 2018. The new building will be constructed to accommodate future expansion. Construction bids are expected in February 2017. OPN’s architectural fee is 6.9 percent of the final construction cost. Linn County will use a state flood recovery bonding process which expires in 2018.