05/17/06 — City workers moving into City Hall

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City workers moving into City Hall

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 17, 2006 1:57 PM

The moving trucks parked along North Center Street were a welcome sight for city staff on their way to work this morning. They were a sign that the wait to move into the city's new offices was almost over.

Officials and staff started their days early -- some before 6 a.m. -- to begin their move into the recently completed City Hall. Although the new offices are only a few dozen feet away, the facility is an upgrade -- a $4.7 million, 30,000-square-foot building.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said an early start this morning means less work next week and that only a few hours into the move, city staff are already ahead of schedule.

"Inspections and planning are up and running," she said. "And we're in the process of getting engineering set up."

Tuesday, Mrs. Logan said staff from the Planning, Inspections and Engineering departments would be moved into the new building today, and that relocating the Revenue and Finance departments would be held off until Thursday. Her schedule indicated also that the mayor, city management team and city nurse would wait until Friday to vacate the old City Hall.

But at the rate the move was going this morning, that could all change, she said.

"We're going to do as much as we can today," Mrs. Logan said.

Moving into the new facility has been greatly anticipated, she added.

"I think the city staff is excited about moving in," Mrs. Logan said. "Especially those employees in the annex who haven't had windows."

The move will continue through the end of the week, and some work might be left for the weekend, she added. During this time, the city will still be operational yet limited.

"The departments will be providing a limited amount of services at those times," Mrs. Logan said. "But water bill payments will still be accepted this week."

The official move-in comes more than a year after construction began.

Earlier this month, Goldsboro's Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said despite a few routine delays, construction was completed in a timely fashion. Weather-related days off and a code conflict involving fire doors were among the reasons for the delayed opening, he added.

"It came along fairly well with the complexity of the facility," Cianfarra said. "In most construction, when you do a large project, there's always issues with certain things."

After everything is out of the old facility, the city's focus will shift back to the former city hall for Phase II of the project. This step involves renovation of the facility, which was built in the early 1900s.

Mrs. Logan said Phase II, which is estimated to cost $2.7 million, is currently in the design phase.

"After we vacate the building, we're going to do an interior demolition," she said. "That will help us complete the design part of the project."

The third and final phase of the City Hall project involves demolition of the annex building to make a parking area.