City Hall ready for a makeover
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
October 3, 2012 · Updated 4:54 PM
Auburn City Hall has a lot of unused space to fill now that the City departments of public works, planning and finance are two years removed to new digs in the 1 Main Street Professional Center across North Division.
Given all that isn't happening on the first and second floors, the question is what to do with so much vacancy.
Remodeling plans have been talked about since 2005 but the sour economy stuck a monkey wrench into the works.
With last week's opening of 11 bids on the remodeling contract, the project is officially on the front burner again.
"When this building was built more than 30 years ago, it was built to be fully occupied in 30 years, so that's what we are talking about right now," said Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis.
The project is expected to double the public seating capacity in the Council Chambers, in part by removing the back wall and media room. The Council dais will be moved, turned toward the northwest and raised to provide a view to the back of the room.
The mayor's office will be remodeled into the Council Conference Room. The present site of the City Attorney's office and the Human Resources Department will be remade into administrative offices for the mayor and his staff and the council members. The old finance department will be made into two, perhaps four conference rooms, again, answering the public's request for more meeting space.
The City Attorney's office will move up one floor into the old Public Works Department.
Everything upstairs east of the entrance to Public Works will be the legal department; everything to the west of the entrance of old Public Works will be conference and meeting rooms.
"The reason for the conference rooms is that both human services and the legal department need a lot of testing rooms, and they've had to take a lot of people over to the jail or the library or the parks building," Lewis said.
The Human Resources Department will move into Planning's old suite.
Important upgrades will also be made to the ventilation and heating systems.
State law demands contracts be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. The lowest bid came in at $605,274, the highest at $806,588. Before awarding the contract the City will complete its due diligence on the contractor.
Planning and Community Development Director Kevin Snyder said work is expected to get under way in October and finish by the end of the year.Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at email@example.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.