County officials reported recently that plans are progressing for the development of the Liberty County Community Complex, formerly Liberty Elementary School, in Midway. Construction is expected to start in December and take about a year.
County Administrator Joey Brown and architect David Holton of Buckley & Associates on Tuesday showed the Midway City Council drawings of the planned complex.
The county acquired the campus, originally Liberty County High School, from the school board as a site for providing governmental services in the eastern part of the county.
The old school now houses Midway City Hall and the Keep Liberty Beautiful program. It also is a polling place and is used as an early voting location.
The architectural plans for the complex, which now are complete, include a pool and pool house, a band shell-type pavilion, picnic area, playground and walking trail. Renovated buildings will house the new Midway-Riceboro branch of the Live Oak Public Library and a room for the Liberty County High School alumni association with adjoining multipurpose space.
Offices, workspace and storage also will be provided for county maintenance and parks and recreation staff. The old high school gymnasium at the back of the property will be renovated.
The former school cafeteria, which now is rented for private functions and used for community gatherings and Midway City Council meetings, will be renovated. The old kitchen that once served the school will be modernized.
The cafeteria and the former school offices across the hall from it contain asbestos in small amounts and will have to be sealed off for abatement procedures, according to the architectural plans. This is the space used by Midway’s city government, and city officials will have to relocate while the abatement is done.
The county has allowed Midway to use the facility temporarily, but city officials are aware of the need for a permanent home for Midway’s city government. The city outgrew its former city hall, which now houses the police department and city court.
Possible future developments of the county complex would allow citizens to register to vote, pay taxes, buy automobile tags and access similar public services in the east end of Liberty County.
In other business, Midway officials received a preliminary report from Alex Daman of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, which completed a study of the classification and pay of Midway’s employees. Daman outlined four plans for bringing Midway’s compensation into line with other comparable governments. The cost of implementing the plans ranges from $37,020 to $27,177.
Written job descriptions for all city employees are being reviewed and council members are working on a list of questions for Daman to answer when he returns for a final visit.