COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In the final meeting to get the public’s take on what should happen to the Columbus Government Center, there is an almost unanimous vote to move the building and judicial center to a new location.
“It’s been trending to building two new buildings offsite. I think the third option being moving one building offsite is kind of a close second right now,” says Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.
All but one person voted for the third option, which is demolishing the tower, the wings and the garage and rebuilding on the same site. The option also includes a new judicial center in an area to be determined by the city. This in addition to an administration building and new parking garage.
“The needs of the public and the costs that would be associated with remaining there would be prohibitive, and now we have a historic opportunity to develop another area which at the moment is not the best,” says long-time Columbus resident Ed Joyce.
“The price element and the cost are going to be coming in a little bit later,” explains Henderson. “It’ll come once we do some careful discovery on what size it would be and the type of materials we would use.”
Although the numbers aren’t calculated until a decision is made by the Columbus City Council on what happens to the building, City Manager Isaiah Hugley says it could likely be the largest government investment tax payers would pay for one facility.
“It would likely exceed $100 million and could be as much as $150 million,” says Hugley.
This is the first piece of what Henderson calls a long process. He says now that the meetings are over the next step is to look for firm numbers and costs for council to make a decision. There is no word on when a decision will be made.