12/05/05 — New City Hall expected to be done by February

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New City Hall expected to be done by February

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 5, 2005 1:49 PM

From one of the large windows recently installed in Goldsboro's new City Hall, passers-by can catch a view of the existing facility -- right next door.

Goldsboro city employees have been waiting nine months for their new offices to be completed. By the end of February, the wait will be over.

D.S. Simmons began construction of the $4.5 million facility in January as part of a three-phase project. Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said officials hope the new buildings will set a high bar for future downtown development.

"A lot of work went into the design of this building to make sure it fit into the city's vision of downtown," Mrs. Logan said. "We hope it will set a standard that others will follow."

When visitors enter the new, 32,000-square-foot building, a receptionist will be stationed right inside the front door to greet them and direct them to the proper department.

Four departments will be located on the first floor, including, engineering, planning and inspections. The fourth, revenue, will offer residents a place to pay their water bill, Mrs. Logan said.

"We chose these four for the first floor because they are the ones used the most by the public," she said.

Other features on the first floor include bathrooms, office space and a centralized receptionist area.

"We have the centralized receptionist area to help with work flow and the flow of plans," Mrs. Logan said. "When people come in to the office, everyone will be together."

This will give various city departments an opportunity to watch each other in action and to learn from what they see, she said.There also will be rooms where citizens and officials can meet and discuss issues, she added.

There are windows scattered throughout the building in contrast to the existing City Hall -- a change Mrs. Logan said adds a great deal to the project.

"As you can see, there are a lot of windows," she said. "I think employees will really enjoy being able to turn around and look out into the city."

The second floor features a unique window, located in the mayor's office.

"I was told that my office will be the only one in Goldsboro with curved windows," Mayor Al King said. "I can't wait."

The second floor will house two departments, finance and information and technology.

The walls are quite tall on both floors. One worker strapped on a pair of metal stilts to complete sanding in the city manager's new office, also located on the second floor.

The building will also include a break room for staff. When looking out the large windows in this room, employees will have a bird's eye view of downtown.

In addition to addressing space concerns, Mrs. Logan said the new building will be a source of pride for residents and might encourage other property owners downtown to renovate and/or restore their buildings.

Once the new City Hall is complete, the next project will begin. Phase II includes the renovation of the existing City Hall, which was built in the early 1900s. Once completed, the building will house the council chambers.

While the renovation is under way, the City Council will meet in temporary quarters, officials said. The third and final phase of the project will involve demolishing the annex building to provide more parking.