The new Adams County Human Services Building was dedicated Monday in what Commissioner Chairman Randy Phiel said will go down as a “significant” moment in Adams County history. “This complex enables Adams County staff to provide superior human services to our residents, while also providing enhanced security,” Phiel said. The structure at 525 Boyds School Road, Gettysburg, is home to departments of Probation, Children and Youth, Domestic Relations, Information Technology, Court Operations, the York Adams Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities program, and the office of Magisterial District Judge Mark Beauchat. Judge Matthew Harvey’s office will move there in January.
The Adams County Human Services Building was a long time coming. Phiel said the endeavor took three trips to the “drawing board” and an immense amount of cooperation between the county and courts. “What started as a vision to bring departmental staffs together and relieve the county of non-owned rents and leases went through several evolutions,” Phiel said. The county settled on the former Herff Jones Yearbook building after dismissing the idea of building in town or along Greenamyer Lane, according to Phiel. He credited resident John Longanecker for suggesting the county examine the old yearbook plant. The newly renovated building is surrounded by 26 acres, which includes free parking, a walking path, and views of wildlife. While Phiel said it is no doubt a “beautiful” place to work, the bigger bonus is the ease with which departments can collaborate. Staff can simply walk down the hall rather than make a trip across town. He noted many departments supervise the same clients, so having everyone under the same roof makes life easier for them.
Commissioner Jim Martin reminded everyone of the economic benefits that also come with the building. “Our vision from day one was to end the rent cycle the county faced, and the unmerciful escalation clauses,” Martin said, and to “provide county-owned facilities that would be tax neutral with greater efficiencies of operation.” When the time and market was right for bidding, Adams County jumped on the Herff Jones site. “We are now reaping the benefits of being well positioned for opportunity when it knocked,” Martin said.
Marty Qually, commissioner, said the human services building is an example of many individuals’ cooperation. “To me, this building is the physical representation of the concept that every day we must not just strive to solve the problems laid before us, but we must also look forward to solve the problems yet to come,” Qually said. When the names of those inscribed on the bronze dedication plaque are long-forgotten, Qually said there will still be employees “working here to make this a better community.”
Story by: Gettysburg Times