Commissioners, county begin to zero in on annex plans

VIRGINIA CITY  – At their regular meeting on Tuesday the Madison County Commissioners met with Scott Stroh of ThinkOne Architects in Bozeman and several county employees to review preliminary designs for the Madison County Annex Building.

The building would be constructed on the northwest corner of Wallace and Broadway Streets, directly across from the historic Madison County courthouse, and address the need for additional spacing for county offices.

A few county employees asked questions specific to their proposed office spaces in terms of function and practicality, such as the front counter window of the County Treasurer and Motor Vehicle Licensing office and the proximity of the Finance office to the Clerk and Recorders office. Stroh reminded those present at the meeting that the designs are still preliminary, and the architects want to work with county employees to fine tune their needs for the new office space.

“We’re going to probably have to come back to rethink and re-quantify the equipment and see it one more time, because it always makes a little more sense after we’ve talked about and heard more and more about how you need to operate,” said Stroh. “So far things have been falling in to place we think fairly well.”

The lower level of the proposed structure has approximately 4,617 square feet of space and takes up 60 percent of the overall footprint of the building, Stroh said. The basement level will have space for the county’s facilities maintenance and IT/GIS department offices, as well as over 1,800 square feet of space general and secure storage and approximately 500 square feet of space for mechanical and electrical equipment.

The main level of the building covers 7,560 square feet of space and will hold offices for the county commissioners, finance, clerk and recorder, treasurer and motor vehicle licensing. The designs allow for maximum efficiency in the flow of traffic between the lobby and the county treasurer and motor vehicle licensing offices. There is also approximately 1,150 square feet of space allotted for public meeting rooms that connect to the county commissioners office. The two proposed public meeting rooms on the main level may be sealed from the rest of the building, and have doors that open outside onto a courtyard / patio area and sidewalk that runs adjacent Wallace Street.

Commissioner Dan Happel explained the idea behind the main level public meeting rooms is to have a large common area to accommodate events with a large number of people.

“The reason for the big meeting room on the front is so that it’s really accessible to that public courtyard,” Happel said. “It can be used for big public gatherings where we can lock off the rest of the building.”

The upper level of the proposed annex building has the same square footage as the main level, with 2,500 square feet of that space to be left open for the future growth of county offices. Offices for the county sanitarian, planning department, superintendent of schools, human resources and grants will be housed in the upper level, and there will also be an additional large conference room here.

People will be able to move through the building via two staircases located at the north and south ends as well as an elevator. Restrooms are also located on all levels of the building.

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