The members of the New Hope City Council had their first look May 15 at Wold Architects’ interior layout for a proposed police department and city hall.
The schematic design came before the council for formal approval May 22, after the deadline for this edition.
The city will host an open house June 27 to show community members the revised plans based on council members’ feedback. Community members will also learn more about the Civic Center Park and Milton C. Honsey Pool projects at the open house.
Next steps include design development, which is anticipated to take three months.
“We’ll start showing windows on facades and materials,” said Joel Dunning, a partner at Wold Architects. “It gets really easy to visualize after we work on this next phase.”
City staff members expect to return to the city council in August when that phase is complete.
Another three months is needed for construction documents, two months for building construction bids and awarding the bid, 16 months for construction and one month for furniture and equipment installation.
Wold Architects anticipates staff members occupying the new facility in June 2019, if the project is approved and runs on schedule, with another six months to demo the current city hall and construct a new outdoor pool.
“We are still on track with the schedule,” Dunning said.
According to Dunning, the project remains within the approved $18.2 million budget.
The proposed facility would be located in the current location of the Milton C. Honsey pool.
The main entrance would be located on the north side of the building, facing the existing parking lot. A community development service counter, parks and recreation service counter, conference rooms, a kitchen, work session room, council chambers and public restrooms would all be located along the main hallway.
Behind the service counters would be city administration offices and storage.
“There’s kind of a philosophy that has taken away in corporate America that’s doing away with open office space,” said Councilmember Jonathan London. “We’ve kind of replicated what we already have. Is that why we’re keeping it because everyone likes the office they have now?”
According to Dunning, municipalities do not typically have an open office space layout because of the confidentiality of documents and the desire not to distract others.
As a way to keep city staff members, council members and visitors safe after the Jan. 26, 2015, shooting incident, the architects planned an exit at the back of the council chambers, near the dais, that leads to the secured staff offices. Individuals then have multiple options to exit the facility, several of which never require walking through the public space.
The police department entrance would also be located on the north side of the building. The department would include a lobby, administration offices, holding cells, lockers, patrol offices, an evidence garage, SWAT garage and fitness center.
An underground parking lot will provide protective storage space for police vehicles.
The architects created a preliminary rendering of what the exterior of the building would look like. The image does not include window locations other than along the main hallway or materials.
City staff members and the architects worked four months drafting the layout. All of the information presented to the council was also presented to the Space Needs Task Force, a group of citizens that deciphered what the city’s needs and desires were when the project was first introduced.
Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]