07/10/06 — Original City Hall next on building renovation list

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Original City Hall next on building renovation list

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on July 10, 2006 1:53 PM

Now that city staff and residents are familiar with Goldsboro's new City Hall, officials say their focus has shifted next door, to the original building.

Mayor Al King recently told residents that he expects renovations on the early 1900s building to be completed by December of next year. Project designers at Hobbs Architects PA and construction crews will work to maintain the historic integrity of the building, he added, to ensure that it remains the pride of Center Street.

"(The original City Hall) will always be the dominant building," King said at the June 28 City Hall addition open house.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said all staff have been moved out of the building to allow crews to begin demolition of the interior.

"We're basically going to be knocking down the walls," she said. "We want to see what's behind them so we can give our contractors a better idea of what they will be working with."

The interior demolition is expected to begin in a few weeks, Mrs. Logan said, adding crews will need roughly 45 days to complete their work. After that piece of the project is complete, staff will begin putting together bid documents for the remaining renovations.

Mrs. Logan said she expects a bid to be awarded no later than December to allow a full year for completion of Phase II. Work should begin shortly after the job is contracted out.

While renovations are taking place, regular meetings of the City Council will be held in the large conference room on the second floor of the new City Hall. Tonight's meeting and the last one of the month will be held in the original facility's council chambers.

Aside from interior and exterior renovations, Phase II will also involve construction and installation of a bridge connecting the original building to the new and cleaning and restoration of Liberty and Justice, the statues that look down on Center Street from atop the building.

Mrs. Logan said the city has contacted three different agencies to come downtown and put together an estimate for work on the statues. It is her hope that this piece of the project will be completed along the same timeline as the renovations.

Phase III of the project involves demolition of the city's annex building, which once housed the Inspections Department and other city agencies. Once the building has been leveled and the site cleared, officials intend on turning the lot into an area that will provide more parking options downtown.