Multi-million dollar Lower Burrell City Hall renovation starts next week
Contractors will break ground next week for the $3.1 million Lower Burrell City Hall renovation project.
Years in the making, the project entails creating more space for police and the public works department and moving the tax office back into city hall.
City services won’t be impacted by the project.
However, parking and traffic patterns near city hall and other city buildings will change, according to Amy Rockwell, city administrator.
Residents will see the most traffic pattern changes in trying to reach the “leaf and limb” site behind the public works garage. New traffic patterns will be marked to reach the site where residents can drop off tree limbs and branches but not grass clippings.
Arcon Contracting of Lower Burrell, to whom city council awarded a $2.015 million contract as general contractor in March, is starting the project with the construction of a new public works building across from city hall.
First, contractors will start grading the site of the former basketball/ice skating rink for the public works building, according to Mike Nedley, Lower Burrell’s code enforcement officer and project coordinator.
That construction area, near a public parking lot for city hall, will be fenced off to prevent public access, he said.
The new and larger public works department pole building will accommodate the city’s larger work trucks. Its construction will take the better part of summer, according to Nedley.
After the pole building is finished and public works moves out of the city hall basement, then demolition will start there to expand police department space by about a six-fold.
Contractors then will convert the former police space on the first floor into the tax office and update the city’s administrative offices, according to Nedley. Finally, they will convert the tax office building, across Schreiber Street, into a community building.
The project is expected to be complete around March 2020.
This is the city’s first major renovation project in almost 25 years
The estimated cost represents about half of the city’s $6.7 million operating budget this year.
Council raised real estate taxes in 2017 in anticipation of the project, and then earlier this year floated a $4.5 million, 30-year bond to pay for it.
The city has been considering the renovation since officials learned more than eight years ago that they weren’t meeting federal requirements for storing evidence in the police department, Mayor Rich Callender said earlier. There were other space issues as well including the lack of holding cells.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .