Parking, storage set for old jail – Three-story office building planned with no financing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The site of the old Shelby County Jail will soon have a new look, officials say.

Plans are in the works for a $5.5 million county services building which will include about 9,000 square feet of storage and archives as well as 172 more parking spaces for the county courthouse.

&uot;When the jury is being struck, we average about two open spaces,&uot; County Manager Alex Dudchock told county commissioners Monday morning.

Dudchock told commissioners of plans for the former jail site which reverted to the county when prisoners were moved to the new Shelby County Jail on McDow Road last year.

The 172 parking spaces will encircle a three-story building that will house a variety of county offices and include an entire floor dedicated solely to storage of county records like those of the probate, district and circuit courts and the property manager’s office.

&uot;Those records are scattered in a variety of places right now,&uot; he said.

Of the 11 offices to move to the new building will be the county’s license office that now occupies space just inside the front door of the courthouse.

That courthouse space will revert to the probate office for its use.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety’s license testing office will be located in the new building as well.

Also planned for the new building will be the personnel office, Environmental Services and the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, Commission Accounting, the Business Revenue office, Mapping Services, Facilities/General Services and Water and Sewer Services.

In addition, Dudchock said, his office will move to the new building which will also feature the county commission chamber and offices as well as a variety meeting rooms.

One of the highlights of the new facility, Dudchock said, would be three PCs that will be available to county residents for access to the county’s Virtual Courthouse, which includes the ability to renew licenses and tags as well as access to commission meeting minutes and other county documents.

He said the Pelham County Services Building currently has one PC for the same purpose.

The County Administration Building which currently houses personnel, commission accounting, the county manager’s office and the county commission chamber, will be used as a Community/Family Resource Building.

&uot;Several groups which you (Shelby County) support have come to us asking for space,&uot; Dudchock said.

The Administration Building was formerly used by the Department of Human Resources.

Dudchock told members of the county commission that the entire project would take about 14 months from start to finish and demolition should begin within about 120 days.

He said funds used to build the facility will come from money set aside for capital improvements with no financing involved