03/17/06 — Renovation of old City Hall to begin in summer

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Renovation of old City Hall to begin in summer

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 17, 2006 1:45 PM

As construction crews and city officials close in on the grand opening of Goldsboro's new City Hall, their focus is shifting slightly toward the next project -- renovation of the current City Hall building.

The second portion of the three-phase project is already in motion, and city officials said they hope to begin work on the historic building on Center Street by August.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said the design stage of the project began in January and should be complete by mid-April.

"We have the schematic designs done," she said. "But we'll still need more time to complete the final design. It's a pretty big task, and we want to make sure it's done right."

Plans for the building include restoration of its historic integrity and a few minor additions -- ramps, new windows and a bridge.

"Because it's a historic building, we're limited in what we can do," Mrs. Logan said. "What we would like to do is go in and restore the historic structure, make it handicapped accessible and bring it up to code."

Keeping those goals in mind, designers from Hobbs Architects PA are completing plans for the projected $2.5 million renovation.

Once the designs are complete, the city will take bids for the actual construction. Those bids should be awarded by the beginning of August, Mrs. Logan said. Then, Phase II officially begins.

The ongoing City Hall project is broken down into three phases, with construction of the new building at the forefront.

The next step involves renovation of the current facility, cleaning and restoration of the statues Liberty and Justice and construction of a bridge connecting the existing City Hall to the new.

Once renovations are complete, four city departments will move in -- community development, community affairs, human resources and the city nurse.

The building will remain the home of council chambers. Once it's ready for use, City Council meetings will resume on its second floor. During the renovation, council meetings will be conducted in the new City Hall or at the Herman Park Center, Mrs. Logan said. Once a final decision has been made, the public will be notified, she added.

The third and final phase of the project will begin at the conclusion of Phase II. Phase III involves demolition of the city's Annex building, currently home to the Inspections Department. Once the lot is cleared, a parking lot will be constructed on the land.

Officials said they hope additional parking will lure city residents to the new buildings and eliminate some of the parking woes downtown.