Column: Selling Citizens Building will benefit citizensThe Goodhue County Citizens Building is located kitty-corner from the Goodhue County Courthouse in the Historic Mall District. The building was constructed in 1930, two years before the completion of the Goodhue County Courthouse.
By: Scott Arneson, The Republican Eagle
The Goodhue County Citizens Building is located kitty-corner from the Goodhue County Courthouse in the Historic Mall District. The building was constructed in 1930, two years before the completion of the Goodhue County Courthouse.
One will immediately recognize the architectural relationship between the Citizens Building and the Courthouse. Originally, the building was known as the Citizens Fund Building; it was the home of the Citizens Fund Mutual Insurance Co.
In 1979, the company moved to larger quarters in the St. James Hotel and the building was purchased by Goodhue County for Goodhue County Social Services staff. The building is considered to be a “pivotal building” in the Red Wing Historic Mall District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Goodhue County is currently requesting proposals for the sale or lease of the Goodhue County Citizens Building. In August 2010, the County Board integrated the Social Services and Public Health Departments into one combined department now known as Goodhue County Health and Human Services. Currently, Health and Human Services staff are housed at Citizens Building, Government Center and Colvill Family Center. The Public Health Building was vacated in June 2012.
Goodhue County has been considering constructing a new facility to accommodate all Health and Human Services operations that would be connected to the Government Center.
Below is the history and timeline on how we got to where we are today.
1990s — Human Services was included with the WOLD space study when planning was done for the current Justice Center and Law Enforcement Center. There were discussions and intentions to refurbish the 1916 Central High School building for the Public Health and Human Services Departments with remaining dollars. In the end, those dollars were used for unbudgeted expenses and for staffing the Adult Detention Center.
September 2005 — County Board sold the 1916 high school.
January 2007 workshop – The board sets a goal and gave direction to study combination options of Public Health and Human Service, and study building needs.
October 2008 — County Board entered into contract with WOLD Architects to provide a space needs study of Citizens Building, Public Health Building and Government Center. Final report was received in January 2009. Results/recommendations:
Option A — Build additions to Public Health Building
Option B — Move to old hospital with minimal renovations
Option C — Build addition to Government Center
Option D – New construction on new site
2009 — Department heads and staff continued discussions and research regarding the integration of Health and Human Services.
February 2010 - County Board adopted staff proposed integration outline of Health and Human Services.
April 2010 - County Board entered into contract with Short Elliott Hendrickson to provide schematic design and construction costs for the Public Health Building and Citizens Building.
August 2010 — County Board resolution integrating Health and Human Services into one department.
March 2011 - Committee of the Whole meets regarding Health and Human Services building update. Public Health and Citizens Building deficiencies identified were reviewed and various options were presented.
April 2011 — Committee of the Whole reviewed four options.
May 2011 – Committee of the Whole reviewed two options.
June 2011 - Committee of the Whole reviewed new construction scenarios provided by Short Elliott Hendrickson. Selected preferred option.
August 2011 - County Board approved Short Elliott Hendrickson contract for architecture and engineering services for new construction.
January 2012 – Programming study completed.
March 2012 – Schematic design completed. Staff recommended that the next phase of new construction be delayed until Regional Human Service Redesign decision was made by board May 1.
May 2012 – Regional Human Service Redesign decision postponed until July 1, 2012.
June 2012 – Regional Human Service Redesign resolution placed on Board agenda for June 19.
June 2012 – County Board recommended to begin the marketing strategy for the Citizens Building.
If you are interested in obtaining the full request for proposal for the Citizen’s Building please visit the Goodhue County website at www.co.goodhue.mn.us or contact Stacy Thuman at 651-385-3001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should a submitted proposal be accepted by the County Board in December, this would allow the discussion to move into the next phase of planning of the new Health and Human Services Building. The new building would sit on the site of the existing Public Health Building and would provide a common ground level entry point for the Government Center.
The county would gain efficiencies in continued Health and Human Services integration with staff, programs and services, in energy savings, work and customer flow and an after-hours meeting room. This would also help the county to improve customer access to all services by providing one access point for all health and human services.