(WMC-TV) - A Shelby County building once facing the wrecking ball has bounced back. Officials claim its reuse saved taxpayers millions of dollars.
There is still some scaffolding up at 157 Poplar Avenue. The finishing touches are being put on during the renovation, which almost did not happen at all.
Built in 1959, the Shelby County Office Building at 157 Poplar was almost history itself.
"There was a plan to demolish this building and put a parking garage in this location," said county engineer Tom Needham.
He says the plan just did not add up.
"The cost to demolish the building was about a million dollars, the cost to renovate this building was about $4.7 million, [and to build a new structure would have been] about $120 a square foot or about $10 million," said Needham.
That equals several million dollars in taxpayer savings, which the county trustee could count.His employees were the first to move in a while back.
Metal grillwork that used to decorate the outside of the building was reused inside for a partition. It was also used to make the base of an accent table.
Original mosaic tile remains in the lobby where jury selection happens.
"Some buildings are antiquated, but what we found is when individuals built county or municipal buildings in the past ... They built a little better building," said Needham.
City employee Alex Alexander is glad the county decided to reconsider tearing it down.
"We can save money; we need to do that," said Alexander.
The county administration building across the street is being renovated as well. And despite its $20 million dollar price tag materials are being re-used when possible.