April 4, 2013: Our readers write

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Define building requirements correctly

I believe the new Hardin County government building’s gross square footage requirement is overstated and savings in county funds will be realized by accurately defining the base line requirement. 

The proposed facility is identified as requiring 60,000 gross square feet of space.  Reviewing the New Facility Programming Study Report on the county’s website, the requirement is 59,065 gross square feet.  Although Fiscal Court may have rounded up the number to simplify the requirement; the cost difference of the two numbers means a savings of $187,000 using the $200 per square foot construction cost.     

Further cost reductions can be found by eliminating the 9,575 square feet for the county attorney’s office identified in the report — that office is projected to move into the H. B. Fife Courthouse. Using space in the Fife Building will save $1.9 million.   

Utilizing ancillary spaces — common use areas —would reduce the requirement further as each floor of the building has space for a conference room (550 gross square feet), break rooms (625 gross square feet) and restrooms (750 gross square feet):  

 Individual conference room spaces are included, of various size, totaling approximately 1,300 gross square feet, for the Finance Department, County Clerk, Planning and Zoning and PVA departments. Utilizing conference space in common use areas would eliminate 1,300 gross square feet requirement, saving $260,000.   

 The Sheriff’s Office requires a 500 gross square feet break area. Utilizing common break rooms would save $100,000.     

 Restroom requirements for the judge-executive, county clerk and Sheriff’s Office are planned, requiring an additional 950 gross square feet. Utilizing common restrooms would save $190,000.  

The Sheriff’s Office requirement may include a locker room/dressing area for staff but this was not differentiated in the facility report.       

Based on the above analysis, the new building needs 46,740 gross square feet at a cost of $9.34 million, a savings of $2.66 million from the original estimate of $12 million.  Setting the correct base line requirements prior to design is essential to ensuring taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.

Jeff Myers