Marysville News

County may renovate health department office space

Options presented to commissioners range in price from $340,000 to $2.6M


The Union County Board of Health presented four options for expanding or renovating the county health department and other county office space at 940 London Ave. to Union County commissioners Dec. 5.

The price tags range from a low of $340,000 to a high of $2.6 million.

Jennifer Thrush, public information officer for the health department, said the meeting was an information-gathering session more than anything else.

"Because no decisions have been made on whether we would even expand or not, funding has not yet been discussed at length," she said.

Two documents were presented to the commissioners; one includes numbers to show the need for an upgrade and the other offers potential options for renovation, Thrush said.

Both documents were created by Thomas & Marker Construction of Columbus, a company hired to do a feasibility study.

* Option A is a $340,000 plan to remodel existing areas, including the Union County Board of Elections. It includes renovating about 25 percent of existing health department space and all of the elections board space.

* Option B is a $1.1-million plan that includes remodeling about 83 percent of existing health department space and all of the elections board space, plus building an addition of 1,716 square feet.

* Option C is the most expensive proposal at $2.6 million. It includes renovating the entire health department area, constructing a second-floor addition of 10,790 square feet and installing an elevator and two stairways.

* Option D is a $1.1-million plan to renovate about 83 percent of the health department space, plus all of the elections board and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles area.

Thrush said the original discussion that led to the feasibility study began when Union County commissioners asked the agencies that have offices in the building at 940 London Ave. about future space needs.

"Our staff and board of health then sat down and evaluated projected growth within the health department," she said.

The Union County Health Department comprises five divisions: nursing, environmental health, health education, vital statistics and a program called Help Me Grow that serves children up to age 3 who have or are at risk for developmental delays.

Anticipated future growth, a desire for other agencies in the building to expand into some existing health department and common space, and the fact that the health department is at or near capacity in its current location "led our board to decide to hire an architect to do a feasibility study on our current space, plus what five- to 10-year space need projections look like," Thrush said.

"We are very early on in the discussion and are continuing to explore all options," she added.

Union County Health Commissioner Jason Orcena said the next steps will be for the architect to complete a final report on the feasibility study, followed by talks with county commissioners on how to pay for the project.

"We want to know what that would look like and what would that mean for our lease because we do pay rent each month and we don't have an inexhaustible supply of funds," he said.