Linn County will hold the first of a series of community outreach meetings regarding the County’s new building for Public Health and Child & Youth Development Services on May 25 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at Horizons, A Family Service Alliance, 819 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids. All members of the public are welcome to attend.
The purpose of the community outreach meetings is to engage the public in discussion about how the new building can be a neighborhood asset and to 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. The meeting will include a presentation by OPN, the architectural firm selected by the Linn County Board of Supervisors to provide architectural services for the new building.
The new 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 our design process, we really hope to engage with the neighborhood to see what kind of elements could be incorporated as community assets,” said Ben Rogers, chair of the Linn County Board of Supervisors. “This is a vibrant and thriving area, and we want to be part of the fabric of the neighborhood. We look forward to having a county presence here again.”
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.