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Renovations are slated to begin today at the Wilson County Department of Social Services. And a few changes will take place for DSS clients as the nearly $1 million facelift gets underway.
“We know there are going to be some short-term disruptions, noise and changes during the construction. We have taken extra measures to separate our customers from the construction area and keep them and our employees safe during this time,” said DSS Director Glenn Osborne.
During the construction, the building’s main entrance will be closed while the lobby and front area are being renovated. Customers will need to enter the building via the back entrance, which was previously used by employees, officials said. A temporary lobby and reception area has also been set up at the back of the building where customers will enter and be seen.
Reception staff will be able to complete “one and done” transactions for many customers, and the agency’s call center is also available to assist customers over the phone with some types of transactions, officials said.
The front parking lot will also be closed to customers and used only for employee and contractor parking.
Designated spaces for customer parking will be available in the back parking lot, which is behind the main building. Handicapped parking will also be available in that same area.
“We have worked with the city of Wilson and asked them to reroute the city bus,” said DSS communications manager Lori Walston. “During construction it will enter off Pine Street and deliver customers to the back door of the agency.”
Employees will use other doors to access the building.
Officials anticipate the construction work will be completed in July.
The renovations will bring the agency into federal compliance regarding facility space regulations for staff and its main building. It will also improve customer and staff safety as well as customer confidentiality, DSS leaders said.
The project was awarded to Durham-based ACH Constructors after several bids. The agency is financing the improvements with federal DSS revenue. The amount of the contract is just below $1 million, coming in at $998,435. No county tax dollars will be spent on the renovations.
“We are excited to get this project underway,” Osborne said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we move through this project. We hope that once this project is completed, we will have one of the safest and most customer-friendly environments in North Carolina.”
Wilson County DSS is located at 100 Gold St.