Kingsport working with architects on Regions consolidation plan; renovation could cost $3 million

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – A plan to consolidate Kingsport city operations into one building could cost millions of dollars in renovations.

It’s a move that will impact more than 100 city employees, moving them out of buildings like City Hall and into the Regions bank building downtown.

Right now, the city is working with architects to determine how to best move forward with that plan.

At an October meeting, the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman approved a non-binding letter of intent to move operations like City Hall into the Regions building.

“To provide city operations, city administration, city interaction with customers, more effectively and efficiently,” said Assistant City Manager for Operations, Ryan McReynolds.

Since that meeting, the city has been working with architects to see if Regions is the best choice, with one firm looking at how the different city departments interact with each other, and the public.

And another, City Manager Jeff Fleming said, “Began to analyze the existing facility to see how many offices are on each floor, and how are they arranged, and what departments do we have that could fit into those pre-set spaces.”

The whole idea is to move 117 employees from the Midland Center, the Engineering building, the Improvement building and City Hall into Regions, while also improving the city’s Justice Center.

The Regions building is on sale for $2.7 million.

A rough guess of renovation costs, Fleming says, falls around $3 million. That money would pay for remodeling work – things like removing walls and making a board meeting space.

“What we’re really hoping for is a much better customer experience. A one stop shop where anyone that wants to do business with the city can come to one building and they can have the staff that they need access to available to them, and make it a much more pleasing experience,” Fleming said.

This plan doesn’t just impact city staff. If the move does happen, between 15 and 18 Sullivan County employees who currently work in Kingsport’s city hall would be relocated, too.

The Board of Mayor and Alderman will decide whether to purchase the Regions bank building in the first quarter of 2018.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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