Plans for a new multimillion-dollar Beaufort County government building are taking shape.
A three-story, 23,000-square-foot building is planned in Beaufort to replace the county's Arthur Horne building, which county officials say is aging and unfit for continued use.
"We are trying to move that forward quickly just because the existing building as it sits today is not in great condition," interim County Administrator Josh Gruber said.
The building would join the county's administration building, courthouse and jail on the government campus at Ribaut Road and Boundary Street in Beaufort. The estimated $7 million cost is part of a five-year capital improvement plan and will be paid for with a series of general obligation bonds, Gruber said.
The Beaufort County Detention Center and courthouse have been renovated in recent years. Another project would replace the administration building's facade and drains.
The new building is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
"It's going to serve the county's needs well for a long time to come in the future," Gruber said.
County magistrate court would occupy the first floor. Two courtrooms, judges' chambers, jury rooms and offices are part of the plans.
The second floor would house the Beaufort County assessor offices and third floor would include information technology and county GIS offices.
Part of the Arthur Horne Building will be demolished to allow the new building to be built. Once the magistrate moves into the new building, the remaining half of the old building will be demolished.
Space has been an issue while the county works toward a new building.
Beaufort County moved its IT department from the Arthur Horne Building into a Burton office, relocating its engineering department.
The county is leasing space in a former United Way building on Boundary Street to house its engineers until the new space is available. Beaufort County Open Land Trust bought the building to be demolished as part of a park project.
The county is paying the nonprofit organization $600 per month to cover debt service on the building and plans to demolish the building when staff has moved out, county officials said last year.