New social services building on schedule to open by November
Roughrider North Human Service Zone, formerly Stark County Social Services, will soon have a new building to go with its new name.
Roughrider will share the building with the North Dakota State University Extension office and Sunrise Youth Bureau, which share a building on Villard Street, as well as the Child Advocacy Center.
"We're combining three buildings into one and trying to centrally locate Stark County services," said Stark County Commissioner Ken Zander.
Construction on the building, which will be located on Fairway Street by CHI St. Alexius Health, is on schedule for the building to be occupied by Nov. 1. Painting and drywall is being finished now and the parking lot surfaces are being worked on.
Zander said a number of local contractors are involved in the project, including Dickinson's Scull Construction and JLG Architects as well as TMI, which will provide the furniture and fixtures for the building.
The four acres of land it sits on was sold to the county by CHI at a "substaintially reduced market value price," Zander said.
All together, the new project will cost the county about $13 million, although it will cost the taxpayers nothing.
"This is being done without the county assuming any debt," Zander said. "The funds are coming from our capital improvements account, 100%, which is oil royalty money accumulated over the many, many years and designated for capital improvements. That's one of the things that I'm personally most proud of is that we aren't bringing any financial burden to the taxpayers."
That's a promise Zander made in 2018 when early estimates came to $7 million. He said at the time, "I can promise you one thing. It will be paid for. There will be no debt."
Once all entities are moved into their new location, Stark County will put the two buildings in which they reside up for sale.
"When they (Child Advocacy) move into this building, they will be offering their services full time in Stark County versus every couple of weeks they come out here. They'll have a much bigger footprint in Stark County than they currently do," Zander said.
As previously reported by The Press, the county commission has been considering solutions to meet the growing needs of social services for more than a decade. The current 12th Street West offices no longer meet social services' space needs, and the 40-year-old building is meeting the end of its life expectancy.