ST. GEORGE — The old bank building that sat at the corner of 100 East and Tabernacle Street has been torn down to make way for a new Washington County Administration Building.
Formerly the location of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve’s administrative offices, the building began to be torn down the week of Dec. 14, and is located just west of the current county administration building.
While the push for a new administration building has been in the works for several years, not much movement had been seen until this last year.
“It’s officially begun,” Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist said during the commission’s Dec. 15 meeting. “Though over a year ago the intent of designing (and) getting contractors for a new administration building started.”
The new building will be large, Almquist said, adding that it is designed to bring county services under a single roof while also having room to expand.
The current county administration building houses the County Commission, clerk/auditor’s office, treasurer’s office, as well as others. North across the parking lot on St. George Boulevard is the county assessor’s office and other services. The new building will bring those offices and services into the same building with room to grow.
“It will really bring the county into a building where the public can come in and they can get the services they need in one step,” Commissioner Victor Iverson said. “It really is the public’s building and I look forward to it being a place where the public can conveniently conduct the business they need to conduct with the county, and it will serve multiple generations to come.”
An official groundbreaking for the new building is set for Jan. 5, at 2 p.m. at the corner of 100 East and Tabernacle Street.
Construction is expected to last through September 2022, according to a county press release issued Friday. All county services will remain in their existing locations through construction.
According to the county’s recently adopted 2021 budget, the new administration building will run an estimated $25 million to build. A part of the funding for the new building is coming from individual county departments that will be housed there. These departments saved a small part of their annual budgets in a county contingency fund for a decade or more that is now being applied to the new building, the commissioners said.
This has allowed the county to pay for the new building without having to borrow money, Iverson said.
“I think it does speak to conservative principles that we don’t have to go out for a general obligation bond,” Iverson said.
The current Washington County Administration Building was built in 1966 and also previously served as a courthouse and juvenile jail, according to the Washington County Historical Society.
With the current building in need of serious renovations, extensive research showed it was determined to be much more cost effective to replace rather than repair, according to the county press release.
“Like our pioneer ancestors, we are consistently investing in future generations of Washington County residents,” Iverson stated in the press release. “We want to build a solid foundation, not just throw on a band-aid. Washington County’s new building will serve our community for the next 50 years and beyond.”
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