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County set to revamp old supermarket into HHS facility

Preliminary plans for the new St. Croix County Health and Human Services facility that will occupy the former County Market grocery store in New Richmond show the layout of the 28,000-square-foot build-out. (Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction Inc.)

Members of the St. Croix County Health and Human Services (HHS) Board got their first glimpse this week of the preliminary floor plans for the interior of the former County Market grocery store the county will turn into its new HHS facility.

During the HHS board meeting on Monday morning, HHS Director Fred Johnson presented the preliminary plans put together by Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction Inc. based in Appleton, Wis.

The St. Croix County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the $3 million purchase of the former County Market property in August. That $3 million price tag included $1.28 million for the building and $1.8 million for remodeling and other improvements.

The bill for the interior build-out, which will finish about 28,000 square feet, will cost about $1.5 million. Costs for furniture, IT and security systems and HVAC upgrades were not included in the build-out price.

“If you look at the front of the building where the waiting and reception area is, and the vestibule, there’s really only a couple of things in the current structure that are going to be used, and that is the doorway where the vestibule is, and the front bathrooms,” Johnson said. “Everything else will be redone.”

The front portion of the building, which includes access to Public Health, Veterans Services, the Aging and Disability Resource Center and multiple meeting spaces and conference rooms, will be open to the public. The rest of the building will require an employee key card or escort.

“What we’ve tried to do is create a scenario where the corridor behind the reception area is an area the public can go without being escorted,” Johnson said. “That creates additional security for the staff and locks the building down. So any of those doorways that are corridors will be card swipes, so staff can get back there.”

The employee area includes a variety of walled offices, cubicle spaces and flex work stations. The flex work stations can be used by anyone who does most of their work outside the office, but who requires an occasional space in the HHS building.

According to the board meeting’s agenda packet, the interior design is scheduled to be finalized on Nov. 15. After that, a construction request for proposal will be issued on Dec. 2, the project will be awarded on Dec. 27, construction will take place from January to mid-June and staff will move into the new facility by the end of June, according to the schedule.

Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley worked at RiverTown Multimedia from July 2013 to June 2015 as editor at the New Richmond News. 
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