County puts $35 million social services building and parking deck project on hold

Buncombe County officials have halted plans to add 50,000 square feet of space to the county’s Department of Social Services building on Coxe Avenue. A 650-space parking deck planned in conjunction with that expansion has also been put on hold.

County Manager Wanda Greene said Thursday that the $35 million project faces “challenges,” including just how much space the county will require in coming years. A parking study showed a need for a 1,000-space deck and the county budgeted a 650-space deck, Greene said. Meantime, the use of the building and the need for parking continues to grow.

The Coxe Avenue deck would have been open to both county workers and the public.

Meantime, construction crews hired by the county have just about completed work on a 650-space parking deck on College Avenue next to the county health department.

Greene said other big county projects are moving ahead, including the construction of a new animal shelter and a planned renovation of Pack Memorial Library.

County commissioners will hear updates on all county projects at the board’s retreat meeting, set for Jan. 9 and 10.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor

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