By Amy Wenk
Sandy Springs residents should find more government services in one place this summer.
Renovations began April 5 on the North Fulton Service Center at 7741 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. When complete in early July, the service center will be more accessible and offer more services to about 30,000 residents, county officials say.
In the meantime, county services will be provided in four trailers in the parking lot. The exception is that citizens will have to use the Fulton County Tax Commissioner and Tax Assessor offices on Royal Drive in Alpharetta or Pryor Street in Atlanta.
“We are not looking to interrupt services,” said Deputy Fulton County Manager Gwendolyn Warren. “We are going to have some signs up so people can easily get where they need to go.”
The approximately 40,000-square-foot North Fulton Service Center was built in the 1970s and currently houses the probate and magistrate courts, as well as the clerk of Superior Court. The facility includes offices for the county marshal, tax assessor, tax commissioner, solicitor general, voter registration and election personnel, and cooperative extension staff.
The $1.9 million renovation will upgrade the center and ensure it is energy efficient and accessible. It also will reconfigure 20,000 square feet for new offerings including a regional health clinic.
“That’s one of the jewels that we are hopefully bringing to the community of Sandy Springs,” Warren said. “We have two health clinics in the area, but we have sort of outgrown our space.”
The Sandy Springs Health Clinic on Johnson Ferry Road and Grady Hospital’s North Fulton Health Center on Alpharetta Street in Roswell will merge and relocate to the service center. Grady will provide primary care health services. The county will offer additional services, such as dental care and a clinic providing shots needed by travelers, Warren said.
The health clinic will be located on the service center’s bottom floor where the tag agency and tax commissioner now are housed.
Given the economy and the high rate of unemployment, Warren said, “folks in these times need an opportunity to make sure that they can have excellent health care, but at a reasonable cost.”
In addition, renovations will make room for workforce development personnel to assist job seekers; housing staff to counsel citizens on foreclosures, loans and predatory lending; and human services workers to advise residents about elderly care.
County officials also plan to offer weekend and evening classes on topics like nutrition and disease management.
“We respect the fact that a lot of our residents in that area have been affected by the economy, and what we are trying to do is bring good government, get them good medical services and be able to teach classes that will assist them in these economic hard times,” Warren said.
A community garden will be constructed on the grounds for citizens to learn growing techniques.
“It will be a teaching lab, as well as we will have some families using it for their own,” said Warren, adding there are plans to hold a farmers market in the parking lot of the service center, beginning in July or August.
“We will have a lot of good surprises for the community’s children at this facility,” Warren said.
That includes a reading and literacy center as well as child care services.
During the renovation, residents can contact Dist. 4 Fulton County Commissioner Tom Lowe’s office at 404-613-0468 for assistance.