FARMINGTON -- The not-yet-complete commission chambers on the top floor of the new three-story $16 million Davis County Administrative Offices building will offer a fine view of the Wasatch Mountains.
The chamber layout also includes a one-step rise in the floor, elevating the table behind which the commissioners will sit during their weekly public meetings.
The offices, immediately south of the Davis County Memorial Courthouse at 28 E. State St., are taking shape.
On Thursday, project manager Barry Burton gave the Standard Examiner a tour of the offices, which are expected to be substantially completed by Aug. 24. The tour included a walk-through of the adjoining single-story library headquarters currently under construction.
The $4.4 million library building should be substantially complete Sept. 19, Burton said.
The two projects are part of an overall $22 million courthouse campus renovation, which includes the new $1.6 million Davis County Children's Justice Center that opened in the spring.
A tour of the incomplete administrative offices and library, totaling 94,000 square feet, shows an interwoven work of wood and stone being used in the structures' exterior and some interior areas, creating a feeling of warmth.
"We wanted to make this place pleasant and inviting," said Burton, who is also the director of planning for Davis County.
Burton said one of the concerns in marrying the three-story administrative office building with the single-story library was to prevent the office building from overwhelming the new library.
Wadman Construction has been able to avoid that by adding a single level of exterior stone around both buildings, creating a uniform look, Burton said.
The stone work on the outside of the buildings also speaks for the stability of the county and the permanence of the structures, which should last more than 100 years, taking the county beyond build-out.
Burton said break rooms and conference rooms will be on each floor of the office building. The new administrative offices also provide the floor space needed to bring together some of the county's larger departments, which because of current space limitations have been working from different locations throughout the building.
"It is going to be pretty nice," Burton said, "a pretty classy place."
The impetus for constructing the buildings was the need for a new library headquarters to meet the demands of a growing population, and to provide secure storage space for the county's electronic voting equipment.
When the county discovered it could get a construction bid and interest rate that were both favorable -- and taking into consideration the high cost of bringing the old courthouse up to seismic code standards -- the county opted to go with three new buildings, including the CJC, all at the same time.
To fund the project, the county is using recovery zone bonds made available through the president's federal stimulus package, Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said.
As a result, there is no tax increase associated with the projects, officials have reported.
Upon the completion of the new office building, Burton said, every department, with the exception of the 4-H program and facilities management, will move out of the old courthouse and into the new building.
County officials will use the move to give them time to decide what to do with the old courthouse.
There has been discussion of preserving the front portion of the courthouse, which has historic significance, and razing the sections that were added to the original building over the years, Burton said.
Reducing the size of the old courthouse would also reduce the county's cost to bring it up to earthquake code, he said.