07/31/06 — Workers check condition of original city building

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Workers check condition of original city building

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on July 31, 2006 1:49 PM

Interior demolition has begun inside Goldsboro's original City Hall building, marking the official start of Phase II of the city's three-phase project.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said contractors are currently pulling up carpet and linoleum floors, removing the panel ceilings and tearing out walls that aren't permanent. The project will give officials a better idea of termite damage and wear and tear on the structure of the building before the bidding process begins, she said.

"We're basically trying to get to bare bones of the building," Mrs. Logan said. "Once that's done, it will give us a better idea of the structural integrity of the building."

Doing this preliminary work will hopefully mean a lower bid for the project, she added.

"It helps eliminate some of the questions," Mrs. Logan said. "If there are repairs to be made, it will take some of those unknowns out."

The city estimates the price tag of Phase II to total $2.7 million. The job includes the current demolition project, interior and exterior renovations and the construction of a bridge connecting the 1906 structure to the recently completed City Hall addition.

The project also includes placing a fountain between the two buildings, Mrs. Logan said, adding most of the work for that piece was completed during Phase I.

"The fountain will be one of the last things we do," she said. "The plumbing and drainage work has already been completed."

City Council members decided to wait to erect the fountain to avoid damaging it during Phase II, Mrs. Logan said.

The only aspect of the project not covered by the $2.7 million is restoration of Liberty and Justice, the two statues on top of the building. Mrs. Logan said she expects council to allocate funds for the work once an estimate comes in.

Bids for the construction and renovations associated with Phase II are expected to be in by November, she added. After council reviews the candidates, a formal decision is expected by December, she said.

"We hope that the ground-breaking will happen a few weeks after the bid is awarded," Mrs. Logan said. "We're looking at starting sometime between the end of December and the beginning of January."

Phase III, which involves demolition of the city's annex building and clearing the lot for a parking lot, might also take place during the later stages of the current project, Mrs. Logan said. To date, City Council has not made a decision on that possibility, but if the money is there, it could happen, she added.

During the open house recently held at the new City Hall addition, Mayor Al King told residents he expects Phase II to be completed by next December.

Once Phase II is complete, the Community Development, Community Affairs and Human Resources departments will relocate to the original City Hall building.