Hall County Board Hears from Courthouse Architects and Drops Down to 2 Project Options

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The Hall County Board of Supervisors heard from architects Tuesday on the different options for the courthouse renovation project.

It's the second special meeting in a week by the Hall County Board of Supervisors. They've seen the choices of plans for the courthouse go from six down to two.

The Board let the architects of the courthouse projects know that all projects involving the safety center were not possible because the judges said there was one big deal breaker.

"They absolutely cannot have columns in their courtroom. I say that and if you go over to any of our county courts right now they do have an interior column and they don't like them and they don't want them in something new," said Bob McFarland, the Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

That leaves only three options for the courthouse.

McFarland said, "This building has to be three things in my opinion. It has to be functional, it has to be affordable, and it has to be ascetically pleasing, to me anyway. That's a big part of it."

McFarland likes option B-1 better, and has since the start.

No one voiced preference for B-2.

Supervisor Scott Arnold said he prefers B-3, as long as one thing can be amended.

"The plans here today were access from Locust St. and from 1st St. I don't like that option because those streets are curb to curb traffic and it causes a problem. I would like the Pine St. access," said Arnold.

The concern with B-3 is it would create two separate buildings, spurring the need for double the security.

"The concern was we're going to have to add security if the design is spread out too far, but I think we're at that point anyway," Arnold said.

Other concerns were private parking for judges and transporting inmates to court.

McFarland said this process now leaves the Board of Supervisors, but only temporarily.

He said, "It will go back to the Facilities Committee and we will talk and try to narrow down our option that we think would work best and we will then come to the board with a recommendation as to which option we feel would be best."

McFarland said it will probably be a few more meetings before they pick the project to go with.

In the next meeting the board will look into financing options for the project.