Rising construction costs are causing problems for Jackson County Schools as it attempts to complete $9 million of much-needed capital upgrades. With projects out for bid and work underway, estimates are showing that it will cost 25 percent more than expected — $2.22 million — to carry out the original construction plan.

After years of discussion, Jackson County is ready to move forward with plans to address the needs of its aging health department building — but the resulting project will likely affect the planning and code enforcement departments as well.

When the Jackson County Commiss-ioners met to discuss construction needs in the health department Aug. 8, the goal for the afternoon was clear.

The Macon County commissioners have some challenges in balancing the proposed 2017-18 budget, but County Manager Derek Roland said those challenges are the same ones every local government is facing right now.

A 56,000-square-foot, $20 million retail project that will bring a long-awaited Publix grocery store to Waynesville was unanimously approved by the town planning board May 15, but still has one more hurdle to face.

Designs for a new 600-bed residence hall at Western Carolina University met approval from the WCU Board of Trustees June 2, putting the project on track to house students starting in the fall 2019 semester. 

From softball fields to health buildings to animal shelters, funding requests have been arriving hot and heavy to the Jackson County Commissioners’ desks as budget season heats up. As the deadline for the 2017-18 budget draws nearer, the pressure to make tough decisions about what gets funded and what doesn’t is increasing.

Along with the announcement to stop labor and delivery services at Angel Medical Center, Mission Health also announced plans to build a new, state-of-the-art $43 million hospital for the Franklin community.

A Waynesville-based regional social services agency will finally get that new building its been after.

A new health sciences building at Southwestern Community College would allow an additional 288 students to prepare for in-demand health careers in Western North Carolina, and while the Jackson County Commissioners are excited about the project, paying the $19.8 million estimated price tag will be a challenge. In the 2016 master plan that first conceptualized the building, the cost was pegged at $16.3 million, but construction costs have since risen, and the county has several other major capital projects that it’s also pursuing.

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