New county services building making progress

Published 3:31 pm Monday, June 14, 2021

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By WILLIAM MARLOW | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – A new multi-million-dollar county services building is being constructed at the intersection of U.S. 280 and County Road 41 in north Shelby County, and its opening is nearing after fast progress.

According to Trey Gauntt, the county’s manager of facilities and general services, the building is currently under construction but is expected to be unveiled to the public this fall.

Construction had been scheduled to conclude this month, but Gauntt said development has stalled due to construction material delays relating to the coronavirus pandemic. The building is now expected to be fully operational by Sept. 1.

Launched in 2019, the development project is part of a larger consolidation effort by the county in order to accommodate the ever-expanding U.S. 280 corridor, especially along County Roads 41 and 43, which comprise Greystone, Chelsea and Shoals Creek.

The building will be three stories and house many different county operations.

“The building will serve the people that live on the corridor. This part of Shelby County is growing exponentially so we felt the need to locate a county services building to this location in order to provide additional services, and to better serve the people in this area,” Gauntt said.

According to Gauntt, the 47,000-square-foot building is one of the county’s larger investments to date, with construction costs totaling approximately $14 million.

However, the investment is well worth the price as Gauntt said the U.S. 280 corridor is one of the fastest growing regions in the county.

The new building will also provide services to the Inverness and Oak Mountain area, while easing accessibility to county services in other places such as Harpersville, Vincent and Westover, which will still have access to the county’s services building in Columbiana.

As part of this consolidation effort, several municipally-operated services will be relocated to the space in the coming months. Currently, the building is expected to house six services that are presently dispersed throughout the county.

Services to be relocated include: the county’s Inverness license office, the Westover water service office and Central Alabama Wellness, formerly known as Shelby Mental Health.

The building will also serve as a new central hub for county and state emergency services, chief among these being Shelby County’s 911 Operations Center and Sheriff’s Office Substation.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, or ALEA, will also be establishing a third county office in the building and has pledged four full-time employees to its operation. ALEA currently operates offices both in Pelham and Columbiana.

In addition, the building will serve as a voting precinct, with the first floor having several spaces for large gatherings.

“We are making great progress and this building will really help serve the people in the 280 area, but also our county,” Gauntt said.

The Wilsonville-based Clements Dean Building Company, LLC is currently overseeing the building’s development.