City Hall Facility Condition Report and New Site Options

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Facility Condition Report Details Current State of Existing City Hall, New City Hall Options Under Consideration 
Columbia Heights City Hall has reached the end of its useful life. That’s the conclusion reached in a facility condition report presented to the City Council in January. Necessary renovations to keep the existing building functional would cost at least $6.6 million, according to an analysis by the Leo A Daly architecture firm.

“It is safe to say the cost of renovating this building will exceed the cost of building a new City Hall,” said Kevin Hansen, public works director.

On top of that, he added, renovations wouldn’t correct the primary concerns of exterior wall deficiencies, space inefficiency, and irresolvable accessibility problems. The original building was built in 1942, and has had three major renovations and several add-ons since then. After the Police Department moved to a new building in 2010, half of City Hall’s space has gone unused. But those empty spaces still cost money to heat, cool, and keep up-to-code.

Other major concerns about the existing City Hall include:
• presence of asbestos in building • water infiltration in multiple areas and water damage prolific throughout • inadequate power capacity and wire integrity • incomplete removal of antiquated systems • lack of fire barriers in ceilings and inadequacy of fire escapes • inadequate ADA accessibility throughout building • exterior wall failure and leaky walls/ceilings • evidence of mildew and possible mold roof fire hazards and inadequacy • inefficient or dysfunctional heating and cooling systems • hazardous stairways and level changes • old elevator in frequent need of repair  unreliable, inadequate, and rapidly failing technology systems in frequent need of repair 

For a one-sheet summary (with photos) of the City Hall condition report, go here. For the full report, go here

City Hall Options Under Review
City Council and staff are considering options and possible locations for a new City Hall that would be half the size of the current City Hall. 

Architecture, Public Works, and Community Development officials have researched multiple site options for a new City Hall, including options next to the existing library, on top of the Public Safety Building, near the existing City Hall (connecting to Murzyn Hall), and on the corner of 40th and Central on the first floor of a redevelopment project. They recently narrowed down the options to two: 40th and Central or Huset Park. Go here for a brief list of the pros and cons of each of the two options. For an estimated cost comparison of the two projects, go here (note: numbers are based on rough estimates subject to change).

On Mon, Sept 23, 2019, the City Council will vote on whether to relocate City Hall to the 40th and Central site. If they vote 'no,' a decision on the Huset Park site option will be made at a later date.  

Reports and Downloadable Information
Read the full City Hall condition report, with photos, here.
Read the full City Hall master plan report here. (Note: not updated with 40th and Central option info)
See a preliminary cost comparison of the two options currently under consideration here.
Download a one-sheet summary of the existing City Hall condition here.
Download a one-sheet summary of the pros and cons of the options currently under consideration here.


Preliminary Site, Layout and Development Concept Plans
Alatus Preliminary Development Concept for Central and 40th
Potential Layout of 40th and Central Site (Overview)
Potential Layout of 40th and Central Site (City Hall)
Huset Park City Hall Layout 
Potential Layout of Huset Park City Hall Site (Option A)
Potential Layout of Huset Park City Hall Site (Option B)
Potential Layout of Huset Park City Hall Site (Option C)

City Hall Informational Meeting Recording
City Manager Kelli Bourgeois, Public Works Director Kevin Hansen, and Community Development Director Aaron Chirpich presented a public informational meeting Sept 18 at Murzyn Hall about the two potential sites under consideration for a new City Hall. The meeting included a question and answer portion. The unedited video was split into four parts. Parts two through four include the question and answer portion: 

Informational Meeting Part 1
Informational Meeting Part 2
Informational Meeting Part 3
Informational Meeting Part 4

Contact City Staff for Feedback or Questions
City Manager Kelli Bourgeois may be reached at kbourgeois@columbiaheightsmn.gov
Community Development Director Aaron Chirpich may be reached at achirpich@columbiaheightsmn.gov
Public Works Director Kevin Hansen may be reached at khansen@columbiaheightsmn.gov
Finance Director Joseph Kloiber may be reached at jkloiber@columbiaheightsmn.gov

To reach City Hall by phone, call 763-706-3610