Springfield City Council took a step toward renovating Historic City Hall, with council members giving city staff the green light to start searching for a contractor.
Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2024 and be completed some time in 2026, a city spokesperson told the News-Leader.
The Historic City Hall building was originally constructed in 1891 as the US Customhouse and Post Office. Since then, three additions have increased its size to nearly 38,000 square feet.
After the city bought the building in 1908 and took occupancy in 1938, the last major renovation of the facility took place in the 1970s. In the early 1990s, the city purchased the next-door Busch Building and relocated the majority of city staff and operations to that building.
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Today Historic City Hall is primarily used as the meeting place for bi-monthly City Council meetings in the third-floor chambers. City Archive Storage and Maintenance, Fire Administration, Risk Management, City Council overflow space and other support staff are still housed in the building.
According to city staff, renovations will “provide an historically sensitive renovated building.”
“The project scope encompasses the renovation of the basement through the third floor. In general, the improvements include the addition of new elevators, interior fire stairways, accessible restrooms, upgraded mechanical and electrical systems, office space for various city departments, improvements to city council chambers and support spaces, improved archive storage space, and to provide flex-spaces for city needs while meeting the historic registration … requirements,” said city architect Jennifer Swan at Monday night’s meeting.
Monday’s unanimously adopted council bill approved the use of Construction Manager At Risk (CMAR) contracting processes. This allows the hiring of a construction firm or construction manager early in the design and planning process to later oversee the project’s construction.
“The method is known as construction manager ‘at risk’ because the recipient or sub-recipient and construction manager negotiate a guaranteed maximum price during the design phase, the construction manager will be responsible for any costs that exceed that amount,” reads a FEMA explanation of the process.
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Swan said a CMAR process is necessary for Historic City Hall renovations because of the “challenging nature and the potential complexities of this project.”
“It’s believed that CMAR delivery will be the big benefit due to the constructability review, cost estimating, logistics and scheduling and subcontractor coordination afforded by CMAR involvement,” Swan said.
Having secured council’s approval Monday, city staff anticipate posting a request for qualifications for CMAR firms one week from Tuesday.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Springfield council takes next step in Historic City Hall renovations