County ag building to be done by May?

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012

THE NEW AGRICULTURE BUILDING could be less than one month away from completion, county officials say.

County officials are hopeful that the county’s new agriculture building will be completed by the end of this month.

The new 9,724-square-foot building, located on Coachman Road near the Cloud Agricultural Building, will house the Decatur County Cooperative Extension Office, the county’s 4-H program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s local Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices.

County Interim Administrator Gary Breedlove said Tuesday that the tentative deadline for the project’s completion is May 1. However, it will likely take a few additional days for the different agencies to move into their new offices.

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“Right now we have all of the exterior walls up and most of the drywall in place,” he said. “We’re going in and finishing installing the electrical and air conditioning and other utilities, and also starting to lay some tile.”

Breedlove said it is difficult to put a solid deadline for the project’s completion, because much of the labor is being done by Decatur County prison inmates, who are sometimes taken off the site and moved to complete other more pressing projects in the county. In addition, weather and other factors could delay the construction.

Breedlove said there will likely be a grand-opening ceremony of some kind, once it is more clear the project is close to completion.

“We don’t want to set a grand opening and then still have construction undergoing,” he said. “When we do get ready for a grand opening, we want to take the time and do it right. I definitely know that the employees, who are moving into the building, are excited about getting it finished soon.”