The old National Guard Armory site has been gifted back to Warren County and county officials have plans for that location as well as the current Health Department building when it becomes available.
“We did get good news. I did talk to the Adjunct General’s Office and the state will be gifting the armory property back to the county,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley during a Building and Grounds Committee meeting. “It would be a good place for the Health Department to go so we wouldn’t have to purchase any additional property. Part of that was contingent upon us having a purpose for it like the Health Department.”
Haley said he has not signed the contract on the new Health Department yet, but he is supposed to do that in June. Commissioner Carlene Brown asked Haley who will design the new Health Department and he said they will try to utilize the same plan used in Cumberland County.
The new Health Department will have a little over 20,000 square feet, according to Haley. The current Health Department has about 12,000 square feet.
Brown also asked if they are planning to put a recognition area from the old armory in the new Health Department and Haley said they are.
Plans for the current Health Department building, once a new location is built, include using it for the Drug Recovery Program and Families in Crisis.
“The current Health Department is in fairly decent shape. We have got the new roof on it and have done some upgrades inside so it is a good space and is set up like a Health Department so it would accommodate the use,” said Haley. “The Drug Recovery Program needs more space. Where they are at right now is adequate sort of, but not adequate enough. What we had was no other place to put it so it went to the Chamber. So that would give adequate space for conference rooms for the Drug Recovery Program, for counseling rooms that could be more confidential and not out in the open. There would be office spaces for Brad and his staff as well so they could utilize quite a bit of space for that
Families in Crisis has been looking for a space to conduct examinations for victims, and Haley says the old Health Department would be a good place for that. The additional counseling spaces would also accommodate them.
“Families in Crisis is looking for a crisis rape center with examination rooms because they have had some issues with the current doctor’s contracts at River Park. Some doctors are a little hesitant to do that and some rape victims are having to wait 12 to 24 hours or have to wait for someone to come in so Families in Crisis is looking for a clinic space for that,” said Haley.
Haley also mentioned that a doctor contacted him about the possibility of doing a free clinic at that building. Nothing has officially been decided yet.