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City construction takes precedence
Council OK's plans for remodeled city hall
Digital rendering of plans for new city hall.
In July 2004, the Hinesville City Council decided to remodel city hall and, on Thursday, it approved floor plans for what in effect will be a new building.
Construction is expected to start in the spring on the $9 million, three-story building, which is much needed, according to City Manager Billy Edwards. The current building was built in 1967 (renovated in 1987) when the population of Hinesville was 4,000.
The majority of the funding for the building is coming from the city’s share of the county special purpose local option sales tax.
Edwards said demolition and construction will take about 18 months.
“We’re enveloping the current structure and adding on third story,” architect James Buckley with Buckley and Associates said.
Edwards said the main reason for expansion is lack of space.
“Right now we have two employees per office and there’s not adequate storage space, and not a big enough meeting room.”
The first floor of the building will house the water department, city clerk’s office, the building inspection department, business licensing and the city council chamber.
The second floor will be occupied by the community development department and the HR department, and the third floor will contain the mayor’s office, the city manager’s office, finance offices, as well as more meeting space.
As construction proceeds, city offices will temporarily be housed in the second floor of the police department. Water customers who pay in person will go to the PD.
“We will be setting up a water customer service in the police station but we’re encouraging people to pay online or by mail,” Edwards said. “We’re trying to minimize the inconvenience by using one of those options.”
Edwards said there will also be additional parking. He does not anticipate much traffic disruption during or after construction.
Other features of the new building include a community room for gatherings and displays of art and historical pieces, and energy efficient appliances and building techniques.
“We wanted a building the community can be proud of,” Edwards said.
On another downtown construction issue, the council approved plans for a new façade on the Coastal Courier building.
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