Carroll County’s commissioners approved spending just under $1 million of coronavirus relief funding to make physical improvements related to the pandemic to the main county office building lobby and 911 centers.
The county in May received $14.6 million in federal relief funding to use for costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of that money went to fire companies, some went to businesses and nonprofits, and a portion will be used to make improvements to county buildings, to name a few of its uses. The renovations will allow for less contact between people — as health experts say social distancing is crucial in fighting the spread of disease — by adding features such as self check-in kiosks and sliding doors.
The renovation of the lobby in the county office building at 225 N. Center St. in Westminster spans about 1,000 square feet and is estimated to cost about $438,000, according to county staff. There will be no-contact temperature scanners and a check-in kiosk, deputy director of public works Eric Burdine said in the Board of County Commissioners' Thursday meeting. The existing floor and ceiling will be reconfigured for a new layout that alters the entrances to the offices of economic development and human resources while giving a sheriff’s deputy full view of the lobby.
The economic development office will be nearly in the same location off the lobby but more recessed, according to Burdine. To access HR, a visitor will enter through the lobby’s sliding doors, turn right, go through another sliding door, check in at the kiosk, then go around a reception desk to the HR office entrance.
“It’s going to be 110% safer to get in down there,” Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, said of the lobby redesign.
The county’s two emergency communications centers, where 911 calls are taken, will be renovated for about $519,800. Burdine said the project at the main location spans about 825 square feet and includes dividing an existing office space into four offices, a conference room, and storage.
The project at the secondary communications center encompasses about 1,775 square feet, according to Burdine. The call center will expand into adjacent office space, get a larger kitchen, add a shower and upgrade another bathroom. Minimal heating, air conditioning and electric work is planned for both call centers, and new walls, floor and ceiling will be installed.
The 911 centers are also getting new work stations and a system update, thanks to funding from the Maryland 9-1-1 Board.
The contractor for the renovation projects, Centennial Contractors Enterprises Inc., hopes to finish Dec. 23, according to Burdine.