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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ok…The Sykes Building Is Gone, Where Is Our New Health Center?

Construction Should Be Well Underway Under Original Schedule

By Sid Riley

The crippled Sykes structure has been demolished and carted away. The empty lot sits waiting for the promised new Jackson County Health Center to now adorn the land. Where is the promised new public building?

In order to get a direct answer to this question I contacted William Long, who heads the department. When the question was posed, Long took a deep breath and provided an update on the “slow to start” project.

“The problem is not the fault of any portion of the bureaucracies which are involved”, Long began. “The problem relates to the initial bidding process for the architectural work for the project. After the first bidding was concluded, one of the firms which did not win the contract filed a protest. Rather than become embroiled in court proceedings, the decision was made to void the initial bids and then go through the biding process again as a means of resolving the issues raised in the protest. This was completed and the winning architectural company, EMI of Tallahassee, is currently hard at work completing the final plans.”

When asked about the amount of delay this process has caused, Long sadly stated, “Six or seven months. We are now hoping for a January ground breaking, and we hope to be moving into the new facility in December 2010, or January 2011.”

So that is the latest news on the saga of the new Jackson County Health Department facility which will someday sit proudly upon the spot once filled with the ruins of the Sykes Building at the Marianna Airport Industrial Park.

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