Southern Indiana

Floyd County, Ind., officials have selected developers to overhaul their government facilities.

County commissioners picked the Koetter Group to develop a new government center at the North Annex property on Grant Line Road in New Albany. The project will house the county government’s administrative services.

Shawn Carruthers, president of the commissioners, said Koetter’s financing and management package made their proposal stand out from others.

“The designs were only a small part of it, because we’re going into the scoping period now,” Carruthers said. “And the scoping period is where we’re really getting down to the nitty-gritty and seeing what are the needs of the county, how much we can afford. And that will dictate really what the design itself is.”

The government center is a public-private partnership. Carruthers said the group will manage the property until the county pays it off, after a yet-to-be-determined period of time.

The site eventually could hold other services, including a center for senior citizens and a new library branch.

It’s adjacent to Sam Peden Community Park and across the street from a shopping center.

“Maybe down by the roadside, that could be possibly a commercial corridor for maybe coffee shops or something to that nature that could help spur growth and excitement around that area,” Carruthers said. “Another idea, and I think there was some drawings that were kind of penciled in, was maybe some apartments, senior-type apartments or something of that nature.”

Any additional projects would be separate from the government center and have to go through their own proposal processes.

In the coming months, Carruthers said the county and Koetter will consider design options. He said they’ll also consider how to commemorate the site’s historical significance.

The North Annex was the county’s home for poor and older citizens in the 1800s and still has a century-old building on site. Lucy Higgs Nichols, who escaped slavery and served as a Civil War nurse, died at the home in 1915.

“We should have an idea of what we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it and be ready to go forward into the next year with everything kind of tidied up and, hopefully, a groundbreaking sometime soon in the next year,” Carruthers said.

Garmong Construction Services will lead redevelopment of the City-County Building in downtown. Floyd County is turning the building into a judicial center, now that New Albany has vacated for its new city hall.

John Boyle is a reporter and editor at WFPL news focused on Southern Indiana. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.