COLUMBIA — If city hall construction progresses as scheduled over the next several months, the City Council could have its first meeting of 2010 in the five-story, 55,000 square-foot addition taking shape at 701 E. Broadway and Eighth Street.
The council's new chambers are expected to be more accessible on the first floor of the building than on the Daniel Boone City Building's fourth floor, where the chambers are now located.
The city of Columbia has made a lot of information about the city hall project available online.
For a video about the project and photos of the first two stages of construction, go to gocolumbiamo.com/City_Hall_Renovations/index.php.
The addition, which is to include offices for several city departments scattered around Columbia, is perhaps the most visible of the three phases of construction, which started in mid-2007.
The Boone Building's $22 million, 3 1/2-year construction plan is on track and is slated to be finished by the end of next year, Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said this week.
“Construction is proceeding very, very well,” he said. There were some delays last summer after heavy rains and flooding, but “contractors have caught up.”
The city issued bonds last year to pay for the massive project, Finance Director Lori Fleming said. Over 20 years, the city will pay a total of about $40.8 million in principal and interest to retire the bonds.
Although $22 million reflects the cost of the construction and renovation contract with K&S Associates of St. Louis, the total budget for the city hall project is about $26.8 million. The extra $4.8 million is to cover information technology, furnishings, the Broadway streetscape and a 10 percent contingency.
St. Romaine said the project remains within budget.
“There have been minor changes as we go through and review, (such as) changing door locations or adding certain elements,” he said.
Construction on the city hall addition began in May 2008, and St. Romaine hopes it will be “substantially complete” by the end of this year and completely finished by March 2010.
It will take a couple of months to relocate city employees and departments into the new addition, St. Romaine said. Plans are to start in January 2010 with the ground floor, where City Council’s new chambers are to be located. After that, people are expected to start moving into the upper floors.
The city has expressed a need to create a more convenient, safer and functional government center for residents and city employees alike. City officials have said they think that a building that houses the city’s governmental operations will be much more economical than paying rent for offices all over town.
The second phase of the project, which includes the addition, also calls for the creation of a public plaza at the northwest corner of the Broadway and Eighth Street intersection.
The third phase of the project is to include renovation of the interior of the Boone Building, installation of energy-efficient windows, a reflective roof and a new exterior to match the new addition. It is to begin “as soon as people can get into the new addition,” St. Romaine said. He predicted that Phase 3 will be finished before the end of next year.
The addition and renovation were designed in an effort to help the city attain at least silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The nonprofit organization U.S. Green Building Council developed the system.
Phase 1 began in mid-2007 and was completed by December of that year. It involved lobby renovations in the Boone Building and new offices for Treasury Management and Utility Customer Services. A canopied drive-through was built for utility customers paying bills, and temporary offices for the Finance Department also were built.
The Boone Building was originally constructed in 1917 as a hotel and tavern. In 1975, Boone County and the city of Columbia bought and renovated the building after a fire. County employees moved out about 15 years ago.