Building renovations could be costly to taxpayers

(WMC-TV) - None of Shelby County's downtown buildings may be in need of as much renovation as the one from which the county government is run.

"We're talking roughly about $20 million just for this building," said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell about the Vasco Smith Administration Building.

The building was built in the 1960s, and it is showing its age.

"It's like bridges, roads, school buildings," said Luttrell. "You've got to maintain your infrastructure," he added.

Luttrell recently requested money from the county commission for the much needed work.

"We just felt it was time to address these issues before it became a problem," said Luttrell.

One issue with the administration building is the access for those with disabilities. Many of the restrooms are not accessible at all. Additionally, heating and air panels that line the walls of the building are inefficient in more ways than one.

"We could get several more thousand square feet of workspace just by redesigning our HVAC system," said Luttrell.

The mayor says paying for renovations in phases should lessen the impact on the county's bottom line.

Priorities in some of the other buildings include fixing flooding issues on the bottom floors of the old courthouse and 201 Poplar.

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