In Aug. 21-27 issueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal ReporterABOVE: Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates talks with Mike Hinton, who is overseeing renovation of the new location for City Hall.
JAMESTOWN - City Hall should be moved to its new location in the former Monin Pharmacy building by the first of November, according to Mayor Brooks Bates.
“I'm excited about the move,” he said. “And I think the people of Jamestown will be excited when they see inside.”
The city purchased the building to replace the newer City Hall building, which is going to be razed and replaced by the new Russell County Judicial Center.
Early this week, Bates had the final floor plans and renderings of the Judicial Center on hand and talked about the destruction phase that the current City Hall and several adjacent buildings will undergo in the coming months to make room for the giant structure.
The move of City Hall to the Monin building, which was constructed in 1967, gives the city's government around 2,500 more sq. feet to work with, according to Mike Hinton, owner of Hinton Builders, Inc. in Jamestown. Hinton and his workers, six at the present time, are doing all the renovation and repair work to the future City Hall and have been on the project six weeks. Hinton said his deadline for completion was the end of October.
The current City Hall building has around 5,000 sq. feet, according to City Clerk Kim Weston. The new City Hall will have around 7,500 sq. feet, including the building's basement.
“We're taking everything from (the current City Hall) building that we can,” Bates said. “When we get the building completed, we'll try to move everything in one big swoosh.”
Bates said he would have all available resources and city workers to help make the move later this year.
“We hope to get the move done as quickly as possible,” he said. The mayor said the city would determine later about the closing of city hall while the move is made and then make an announcement.
While obtaining more space and more parking for City Hall is a plus for the city, Bates said a downside was leaving Monument Square, where City Hall has been for many years.
“But we're very fortunate to have a building like this available for us to move into,” he said. “It is a very well-built building.”
Hinton said because of the building being in such good shape, it was not too difficult to renovate. He also said between $150,000 to $200,000 was his goal for renovating the building.
“This building will be brought up to code on electricity and everything else,”: Hinton said. He said, despite a few minor repairs, the building's heating and cooling system was good to go, saving the city around $3,500.
He said there would be eight offices in the building's rear for administration and engineering and the public works departments and up front there will be a counter for paying water bills and receiving citizens. Bates said the city council chambers will be directly behind that.
The renovation includes relocating doors, moving some walls, replacing flooring with “floating” tiles and lowering some of the building's ceiling, Hinton said.
Also, computer and telephone networking as well as plumbing and electrical work will be done as well, Bates said.
The police department will be located in the building's basement, Bates said.
Police Chief Mike Keaton said he was thrilled with the vast amount of room that the police department would now have at their new location.
“We're going to utilize all of our room,” he said. “We're going to have a duty office which is a whole lot larger than what we have now, we'll have an interview/interrogation-type room and we'll also have a garage area where we can pull in a couple of cruisers if we ever needed to.”
He said the department had so much room, that he didn't know where to put what ... a good problem to have, he joked.
Mayor Bates said the $12.5 million dollar judicial center project was an “opportunity” that Jamestown couldn't afford to pass up.
He said the bids for demolition of the buildings around the square, including the current City Hall, which the judicial center will occupy were put out earlier this month by the county's project development board and will most likely be awarded at the board's next meeting.
Earlier this year, project development board member Kevin Shearer said the board was willing to offer the city enough time to move out of their present location before demolition begins.Shearer said he understood that whichever contractor won the bid to raze the buildings would start the demolition on the north end of the property and work towards the current City Hall, meaning it would be the last building razed in the project.