Marshall city hall building study discussion continues

MARSHALL – Members of a task force focused on Marshall’s city hall building continued their discussion of building studies on Friday morning.

Members of the group received a proposal from architect Ron Halgerson at TSP for a planning study for the municipal building. The proposal included a space study and design concepts for a possible remodel of the building and preliminary cost estimates for both a remodel of the existing building and construction of a new city hall. The proposed total fee for the planning study was $15,000.

In going over the proposal, group member David Sturrock said one of the main questions the committee needed to think about was, “Does it cover everything we need?”

Group member Glenn Bayerkohler brought forward some concerns that Marshall City Council member Jennie Hulsizer had voiced earlier this week as a discussion item at the regular city council meeting. Hulsizer was concerned that the study recommendations would run heavily toward building a new city hall, and not seriously consider renovating the current building. Hulsizer also questioned why the building task force wasn’t approaching multiple firms for building study proposals.

Group members’ consensus Friday was more in preference of renovating the municipal building. At the same time, group leader John DeCramer said, they would need to consider at what point it would become worth it to build new instead of remodeling. Sturrock added that ultimately, that will be the city council’s decision.

Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig said there were also factors to consider in choosing an architectural or engineering group to work with on the municipal building. A full open bid process wouldn’t guarantee a designer close enough to Marshall to answer questions, attend meetings or give regular feedback, Martig said. Soliciting bids would also take longer, he said.

Group consensus was to have Halgerson submit a contract proposal for the city council to consider at its Feb. 25 meeting. In the meantime, city staff would look at other possible options for building study engineers.