The Board of County Commissioners signed a $1.6 million dollar deal to purchase an existing facility located on Highway 40 at the east end of Hot Sulphur Springs. The building will serve as the new location for the Grand County Human Services Department, currently spread out between a variety of older buildings in Hot Sulphur Springs. The Human Services Department works to enhance the capacity of families to care for themselves and to protect vulnerable populations. The new deal comes after nearly two years of strategic planning for facilities needs across Grand County. The Grand Results Strategic Plan created in March 2018 identified the Human Services facility, as well as the Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Facility, EMS buildings, and Road and Bridge facilities all having significant infrastructure weaknesses.
Grand County began to consider other cost effective facility options after voters turned down the ballot initiative to fund the Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Facility last November. When the opportunity to purchase an existing building for $1.6 million arose, the county initiated a thorough analysis and entered into a series of negotiations. After comparing initial estimates for construction of a new Human Services facility, which were upwards of $10 million, the purchase of an existing building proved to be a significantly more affordable option for the Human Services facility. The analysis confirmed that the cost to purchase the existing building to be $170 per square foot, which is less than half of the estimated cost of construction, preliminarily estimated to be around $350 per square foot. It should be recognized that the State of Colorado reimburses Grand County for rent on any building occupied by Human Services, which further reduces the overall cost over time.
The new Human Services facility will allow public services such as child support services, child and adult protection services, child care assistance, food and Medicaid assistance to be located in the same easily accessible building. The facility allows for enhanced accessibility for people with disabilities, and the increased space will offer improved client security and privacy, including a small area where accompanying children can safely wait. Should the purchase move forward, the exact timeline for the move is being negotiated, with a goal of relocating Human Services by fall 2020.
To learn more about Human Services, visit co.grand.co.us.