By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Prentiss County officials are awaiting approval of a more than $1.5 million federal loan to renovate an existing county building as a county court and office building.
Earlier this month the Board of Supervisors submitted the loan application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Administration, said Chancery Clerk David “Bubba” Pounds.
Supervisors are hoping for loan approval soon so advertising for contractor bids can begin, with a desire to complete the work this summer.
The 31,000-square-foot building in downtown Booneville was formerly a manufacturing building used by Blue Bell and Red Kap Industries. About 24,000 square feet will be renovated and shared by a courtroom for chancery and youth court, and office space for the Department of Human Services.
Currently chancery court and youth court share the single courtroom also used by circuit court in the Prentiss County Courthouse.
“It’s pretty much an open building,” said Kent Geno of Cook Coggin Engineers, the county’s engineering firm that is leading the project. “The building already had a very little area of offices and we’ll try to use those.”
In addition to the courtroom, judges’ chambers and court-related offices, about 40 offices, conference rooms and forensic rooms will be constructed for DHS, Geno said. And the one-story structure will be fully compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act access.
Cook Coggin worked with Doug Thornton of AERC architectural firm on the new design.
“The building is structurally sound and will be pretty nice when they get through with it,” Geno said.