Seifert questions new building for Health and Human ServicesSome felt a new building would be ideal, some thought a new building would be too costly and others understood both sides of the spectrum Tuesday as the Health and Human Services Board debated what to do about the county’s HHS facilities.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Some felt a new building would be ideal, some thought a new building would be too costly and others understood both sides of the spectrum Tuesday as the Health and Human Services Board debated what to do about the county’s HHS facilities.
Currently, Public Health is housed in one building while Social Services is located a block away. But since the two departments have been merging into one, having them combined in one location is preferred by staff.
“There’s one thing we’ve got to focus on. We’re talking about integration here,” Board Chair Richard Samuelson said.
The discussion isn’t new. The HHS board discussed a new building several times in 2011.
In a presentation at a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday, staff recommended the board consider a new building that would have about 46,300 square feet, which would include 11,000 square feet in the basement that could be used for storage.
The size allots for about 285 square feet per staff member and results in each person’s work space being 8 feet by 8 feet.
“I’m still looking for a smaller average square footage,” Board member Ted Seifert said.
“I wouldn’t try to shrink this building before you see the design because we already have zero growth built into this,” County Administrator Scott Arneson answered.
“You can’t build just what we need right now,” HHS Board member Gary Iocco said during the discussion. “You’ve got to have a little bit of leeway.”
Seifert later suggested that designing a new building be put on the back burner and HHS consider making use of space that isn’t getting used in current buildings. He suggested placing some offices in the Government Center, some in the Law Library and others in a city of Red Wing building.
No action was taken on the matter. County staff will bring more information to a Committee of the Whole meeting March 20.