BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) The building that houses some important government offices in Bedford County is under construction.
Last year, we told you engineers were worried about the county administration building's condition. Cracks could be seen on walls and floors of the building.
“The floor joists in that particular part of the building were deteriorated to the point where it was not safe to inhabit that part of the building,” said Reid Wodicka, Deputy County Administrator.
Today, a "do not enter" sign sections off the west portion of the second floor. Behind those doors and signs is a gutted office space.
“We have made significant process in addressing structural concerns of this building,” said Wodicka.
Since then, the county has made temporary repairs, moved offices out and ,just before Christmas, entered the second phase of the project. They have spent about $280,000 so far, which is a lot less than engineers expected in a 2012 report.
However, as leaders plan the next five years for Bedford County financially their concern for the county administration building is not safety, but space. And it's a problem they say they need more time to sit down and come up with a proposed solution for.
With various government buildings experiencing overcrowding, an $11 million project for a county administration building was being considered in the capital improvement plan. In November Wodicka introduced two options to the board of supervisors. “Option 1” included the $11 million project, where “Option 2” put the project outside of the five year span they were planning for.
Monday night a new option was introduced, “Option 1 A”. That plan, which the board told staff they were leaning towards, removed the building from the spotlight for the time being.
“We know this building will be a part of space needs for the county in the future,” said Wodicka. “Where we are or where social services is that's what we really need to spend time developing.”
As the construction continues to ease safety concerns for the long term quality of the building, staff wants to sit down and devise a better plan before addressing the space issue head on.
“We didn't have a strong understanding of that, we didn't want to start investing money without a really good coherent plan,” said Wodicka.
The Capital Improvement Plan looks at a rolling five years. So once they come up with a better idea targeting space for the government offices, they can revisit that plan at any time.