Renovation to expand DHS lobby space

       Work is to start soon on a project to roughly double the size of the lobby inside the Department of Human Services (DHS) building at 105 N. Spruce Street.
       The expansion will better serve the roughly 500 clients DHS serves daily at this location, according to a press release quoting Barbara Drake, DHS director.
       Specific improvements will consist of a larger seating area; private interview areas; walk-through space (including wheelchair access); more interviewing space for clients and those who accompany them; and more room to receive and transfer department documents, the release continues.
       The majority of the cost will come from state and federal funding and the department's current approved budget. El Paso County has contracted with MHB Construction for the work, which is scheduled for completion by late spring.
       All the work will be inside the existing building. No impacts on street traffic or the adjacent parking lot are anticipated. Also, efforts will be made to minimize the effects on staff and clientele, explained Alan Blanchard of DHS in a follow-up interview. The contractor “will try to work evenings and weekends,” he elaborated. “We're not going to shut the doors and work in the parking lot, or anything like that.”
       Space became available in the DHS building when the Veterans Administration office relocated a few months ago, Blanchard said.

Westside Pioneer/press release