Russell agrees to purchase Mead-Westvaco building

The Russell County Commission has agreed in principle to purchase the former Mead Coated Board headquarters building on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City for $5 million.

Once the sale is complete — likely by late August — the 35,638-square-foot building will become the county courthouse, accommodating essential county services, including offices for the probate judge, the revenue commissioner, tax appraiser and the license tags.

The current county courthouse will then become the justice center, housing the county court system and the district attorney's office.

Mead-Westvaco constructed the building between 1995 and 1996. The company announced an internal consolidation last year that moved some personnel to Cottonton, Ala., and others to a division headquarters in Richmond, Va. Only about two dozen employees remain in the building on the corner of Broad and Dillingham streets. A few will remain in Phenix City.