County commissioners made it official, saying they’ve signed a contract with The Mills Group, an architectural firm.

They are looking at the site of the former Habilitation Center, between the Department of Job & Family Services and Bel Co Works.

“That’s a building that’s basically been abandoned for many years,” said Josh Meyer, county commissioner. “We applied to the state for a Brownfields grant. We’re hoping to get money to tear that building down and right now that’s our number one site to build the new building. It will be bigger, obviously something more modern and up-to-date.”

There is no cost estimate yet.

The new health department building should be complete in a year to 18 months.

The county also plans to build a new records building on the same site.

They say currently county records are stored in the old Oak View building.

Commissioners say they need to be stored in a building which is temperature and humidity controlled.

They say some of the records date back to the 1800s and must be properly preserved.