05/08/06 — Goldsboro's city hall almost ready for occupancy

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Goldsboro's city hall almost ready for occupancy

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 8, 2006 1:50 PM

A little more than a year after city officials broke ground on Goldsboro's new City Hall, Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said the $4.7 million facility is just about ready.

"It looks good," she said after touring the building with the architect and city inspectors. "We need to clean, but we're ready."

The walk-through was the building's pre-final inspection. Now, a few minor repairs and a final inspection are the only steps left before city staff members move into their new offices.

City Hall Inside

News-Argus/Mitch Loeber

The seal of the city of Goldsboro is set in the floor of the new City Hall behind the receptionist's desk in the building's foyer. Much of the furniture is in its place around the building.

"There are minor things, but other than that things look good," Mrs. Logan said.

Goldsboro Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said there are still a few issues to work out, but for the most part, the building is coming along nicely.

"In most construction, when you do a large project, there's always issues with certain things," he said.

Now, Cianfarra added, the city must make the necessary changes before the building gets its final inspection. He said there is a "minor punch list" of "pretty basic" items left to resolve.

And as for issues regarding the fire doors, he said a "temporary fix" is in place. Last month, concern was raised over the exit doors near the stairwell of the building.

"Once the temperature hits a certain degree, which is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, a pin locks the door in place preventing egress," Mrs. Logan said last month.

This locking mechanism causes a conflict with Goldsboro's fire code, by preventing occupants from escaping in the event of a fire, she added.

Cianfarra said the issue is being resolved and that the fix made would allow the building to be occupied while a long-term resolution between the code conflict is reached by the North Carolina Building Code Council.

"It's OK until a decision comes in," he said.

Mrs. Logan said the city will resolve the minor issues in the coming weeks, and even though she is not sure when the final inspection will occur, officials hope to see furniture and personnel moved into the 30,000-square-foot building soon.

The staff, she added, is ready to go -- but some of the furniture is slow in arriving.

"We have a few pieces of furniture we're still waiting on," Mrs. Logan said. "So we'll have a little delay there."

Mrs. Logan projected the building will officially open in the middle of the month, adding city leaders are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house in the early part of June.

Cianfarra said despite the fact that the building's opening is technically running behind schedule, the project has still been completed in a timely manner.

"It came along fairly well with the complexity of the facility," he said.

City Hall construction began in late January 2005 as the first part of a three-phase project. Phase II involves renovation of the existing City Hall, which was built in the early 1900s and houses the council chambers.

After renovations are completed, the annex building will be demolished, and the lot will be converted into a parking lot.

Officials said while Phase II is in progress, City Council will meet in an off-site location, most likely at the Herman Park Center or in the boardroom located on the new City Hall's second floor.