After a couple of years of discussions, approval by voters and committee meetings, the Thomson-McDuffie City-County Government Center is becoming a reality. Demolition of old buildings along Railroad and Greenway streets was completed last week and Public Works Director Scott Huff said cleanup of the rubble should be completed in "about one more week."
Even though it might seem that the process is slow in developing, Government Center Consultant Jud Bryant said everything is right on schedule.
"I can't say that we're really behind schedule other than the fact that we had a church group on the site a little bit longer than we'd hope for," he said. "But I can say that God works in strange and mysterious ways and we were not going to fool with that."
Behind the scenes, Mr. Bryant said he, committee members and architects have been meeting with all the individual department heads that will be relocating into the new building to get their detailed layouts worked out. Mr. Bryant also said the architects have continued to work on the design of the building itself.
"The site engineers are about to do surveying, the architects and engineers are having busy days, the designing is actually in full swing right now," Thomson City Administrator Don Powers said.
Within the next couple of weeks, there will be some printed images and plans for public viewing, both Mr. Bryant and Mr. Powers said.
"We want the public to know we're designing something they can be proud of," Mr. Powers said.
Construction bids will be taken soon, Mr. Powers said, followed by a ground breaking ceremony in the early fall.
"That's what we're hoping for," Mr. Bryant said, adding that he was supposed to meet with Mr. Powers, Mayor Ken Usry and County Administrator Don Norton for status updates on Monday of this week.
Located on 20.6 acres on Railroad Street, the combined government center is planned to house courtrooms and chambers as well as city/county and local state offices.
The project is being funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars.