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New health department could be open late next year
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A new Liberty County Health Department could be opening its doors sometime late next year. Commissioners approved awarding the contract to build a new health department, which will go next to the current National Guard armory.

“I can’t wait,” said Commissioner Connie Thrift, who serves as the board’s representative on the board of health.

Pope Construction was awarded the contract, which is set for nearly $15.7 million. The bond payments for the new health department building will be funded through the current special local option sales tax.

Four firms submitted bids. The construction time will be 441 days, once the contracts are signed.

“I was really happy with the way this turned out,” said David Holton of Buckley and Associates, the architecture firm.

The contract does not include lighting, but will include generators, furniture and fixtures, according to County Administrator Joey Brown.

The planned facility will be 44,000 square feet, with about 120 parking spaces. It will replace a building that is 33,000 square feet that opened in 1980.

Health department staff met with Holton often to go over the interior design of the building.

“They were very good to work with,” he said. “I think we got everything they needed.”

Holton said they did their best to anticipate growth while trying to not create too much space.

“But there is absolutely growth built into this building,” he said.

Funding also includes proceeds from the American Rescue Plan Act and the health department.

The new health department facility will be on Highway 84, adjacent to the National Guard armory.

County officials have not yet decided what will become of the current facility once the new building is finished.

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