Space Sharing Cost Analysis Gets Go Ahead From Task Force

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Feb 5, 2010 at 6:45 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A pair of Fort Wayne architectural firms will work in tandem the next six weeks to flush out more detailed cost figures on a proposed shared office space plan for local city and county governments.

The decision was made to fund the building studies at a space utilization task force meeting Friday.

The approval process did not go smoothly.

There was bickering between city and county elected officials serving on the panel, and at various points in the two-hour plus meeting, the so-called colocation effort looked like it might fall apart.

But in the end it survived to see another day.

Fort Wayne's Democrat Mayor Tom Henry on Thursday offered a $2.5 million loan to Allen County government to try and advance the space-sharing concept.

At the Friday meeting, he nearly put the plan on the scrap heap.

He originally voted against a proposal to spend $70,000 for the architects’ examination of two separate options.

Later, Henry reversed position, allowing for the analysis to go forward.

The architects will now bore down for a clearer picture of the costs associated with the city and county sharing office space in the City-County Building and Renaissance Square Building recently purchased by the Henry administration.

Ron Dick/Design Collaborative Architects: " Now we're really trying to apply from a drafting standpoint…lay out walls, lay out doors, lay out mechanical systems to a varying degree, so that we can really get harder costs."

Mitch Harper/(R) Fort Wayne Council 4th District: " I think we finally get some numbers together that the city and the county can both look at, these are going to be the detailed numbers."

It’s still not clear when, or if, final resolution will be achieved.

The architects will be directed in this study to try and make a shared space plan work within a tighter budget amount, and if the numbers support that that's possible, then the city and county will likely be asked to commit the money necessary to get the project off the drawing board.

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