SPENCER – The Van Buren County administration building was destroyed by fire more than 18 months ago, but a Cookeville-based contractor has been selected to handle the rebuild of that facility.
J. Cumby Construction (JCC) broke ground in early June and expects to complete the project in January 2018.
On Jan. 7, 2015, fire ripped through the administration building, located on Smith Drive and College Street, which housed the offices for Van Buren’s county mayor, election commission, historical society and more. Those departments have set up shop temporarily in several locations, but the goal has always been to put everything back under one roof.
At a total of 52,000-square-foot, the new building is large enough to accommodate all kinds of space needs. In addition to offices and other areas for the county’s administration purposes, it will also house a multipurpose jail and a courtroom with judge’s chambers.
“When we received the go-ahead to rebuild, we knew we had to not just replace what was lost in the fire but also think long-term into the future needs of our county,” Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson said. “By adding a secured jail and courtroom space, we looked for a contractor that was qualified to take on that type of project. The architect we chose, Upland Design Group, has worked closely with J. Cumby Construction on several projects. That type of synergy is important for a project of this size.”
“This is a complicated project, and we’re glad to be working with J. Cumby for the construction,” added Allen Hill, architect with Uplands Design Group. “The projects we’ve done with them in the past have gone well, and we expect that this will also…We feel sure Van Buren County will be happy with the finished product.”
A groundbreaking was held on site with officials. The county awarded a not-to-exceed $11.274 million bid during a special meeting in May.
Justin Cumby, president of JCC, said specialized detention-related aspects required his team to become pre-certified before even bidding. But the extra steps were worth the effort.
“This gives us another area in which we can deliver customized construction solutions with a focus on service,” he said.