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Rock County closed last week on the former Pick ‘n Save building at 1717 Center Ave. in Janesville.

JANESVILLE

Since it bought the former Pick ‘n Save on Janesville’s south side, Rock County has transitioned into the design phase as it transforms the building into a human services department.

County officials announced plans to buy the former grocery store in May. The county board unanimously approved the purchase May 23, and the county closed on the property June 17.

A group of about 11 human services workers is gathering feedback from employees and providing input on the building’s design, said Brent Sutherland, Rock County facilities management director.

The group has toured other county human services buildings, including those in Waukesha County. Members will tour Walworth County’s 77,500-square-foot health and human services building currently under construction.

Group members then will meet with project developers to discuss and flesh out the design.

Officials will tackle the design layout in July and August, Sutherland said. Construction is expected to begin about April, with completion slated for the end of 2020.

In a memo to the county, Venture Architects representatives wrote that the project schedule could be “accelerated,” meaning bidding could begin this year.

All human services offices in Janesville will shift to the new building. Consolidating the offices in one building is part of the county’s facilities master plan, which calls for about $150 million in upgrades over the next eight years.

Other recommendations include building a new Huber dormitory, expanding the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and Rock County Jail, and investing nearly $15 million in the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds.

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