Resource center debate continues in JacksonJACKSON — Renovating part of the Jackson County Resource Center would cost about $1.3 million less than building a new resource center with the same square footage, a committee reported to the Jackson County Board Tuesday.
By: Kari Lucin, Worthington Daily Globe
JACKSON — Renovating part of the Jackson County Resource Center would cost about $1.3 million less than building a new resource center with the same square footage, a committee reported to the Jackson County Board Tuesday.
“What you have in front of you couldn’t be dissected any more than it was,” said Jeff Johnson, a member of the Building Options Comparison Committee, referring to the thoroughness of the committee’s report.
The Resource Center Building Options Comparison Committee, two other committees and the board itself have discussed what to do about the county’s aging Resource Center, built in 1938 and added onto in 1962, for at least two years.
The Building Options Committee included Commissioner Roger Ringkob, Commissioner Craig Rubis, County Coordinator Janice Fransen, Larry Clymer, Martin Rose, Jeff Johnson and Bob Flohre, and was coordinated by Stan Kaczmarek of Gundlach Champion.
The final decision will likely be made at a future meeting of the county board.
Renovating the 1962 building and demolishing the 1938 building would cost $6,444,539, while demolishing both and building a new structure would cost $7,767,740, the committee reported, after meeting six times since its creation in April.
The committee did not make a recommendation as to what option it preferred because it was charged only to compare the costs and clarify details of the two options, both of which would need to meet the county’s needs for the next 25 years.
The committee also noted several critical factors beyond the cost of the buildings.
A new building would be much more energy-efficient than a renovated 1962 building, garnering savings of $10,000 a year compared to the renovation. Over the new building’s estimated 100-year lifespan, the energy savings would come to $1 million.
The committee also estimated that the old building, even if it were renovated, would have a lifespan of only 50 years, compared to the 100-year lifespan of a new building.
The old building would be less efficient than a new building, because it was built as a school rather than as a resource center. As such, not all the space may be as useful as that in a new building.
The committee believes a new building would be easier to expand than the existing buildings, and that although both structures would require maintenance, a new building would require less upkeep. Mechanical and electrical systems, as well as information technology systems, would be more difficult to maintain in the renovated structure than in a new building.
During the commissioners’ meeting, Clymer told commissioners to keep any new construction practical and not to build a fancy “Taj Mahal” building, if they chose to demolish the old structure and build a new one.
“That’s the kind of thing that makes taxpayers question the decisions (of governing bodies),” Clymer said.