Building committee gets 2nd city hall concept

MARSHALL – Members of the committee tasked with considering options for Marshall’s aging city hall got a look at a second possible floor plan concept for the building on Friday.

The floor plan, prepared by ESG by Honeywell, includes some different configurations of offices compared to a concept by TSP that the committee received last month. The concept also came with a cost estimate, of about $5.3 million.

The building committee, made up of Marshall city council members, city staff and local residents, has been meeting since the early part of this year to try and address concerns with the Marshall municipal building on Main Street.

The building currently has a number of issues, including aging heat and air conditioning systems and a deteriorating concrete floor in the old city fire and police garage.

The committee approached both architectural firm TSP and ESG by Honeywell to come up with possible renovation plans for the building.

In April, committee members had received a floor plan concept prepared by TSP. On Friday, representatives from ESG (Energy Service Group) by Honeywell presented their concepts, as well as an energy analysis of the current municipal building.

While Friday’s presentation didn’t go into detail on the energy analysis’ findings, project manager Joe Henn said city hall currently has an annual energy cost of $1.80 per square foot. With proposed renovations, energy costs were projected to go down to about $1.12 per square foot, he said.

The presentation Friday morning included some cost estimates for renovation of city hall. Henn said costs were projected at about $5.3 million. Henn and project engineer Steve Schell said the estimate was detailed enough to pretty accurately reflect actual costs. However, those costs could be lowered depending on what features, furnishings and fixtures the city chose to go with.

“We’re on the high side, and that’s on purpose,” Henn said of the estimate.

ESG by Honeywell’s floor plan concept had some notable differences to the TSP concept.

One of the biggest changes was that ESG by Honeywell proposed to move the Marshall City Council chambers from the upper story of the building, and put it in renovated former garage space. Instead of reinforcing and filling in the old garage floor, Henn said the damaged sections of concrete and rebar could be removed, and replaced with new.

Much of the upper floor would be used for open office space, with some private offices and meeting rooms. Instead of relying on cubicles, Henn said the open office area could make use of de-mountable walls or partitions, which could be reconfigured as needed.

Instead of building a new elevator shaft for the municipal building, Henn said the existing elevator shaft could be expanded and replaced.

Henn noted that the concept proposal wouldn’t remove the distinctive screen of clay tile from city hall’s facade. However, the proposal did call for the replacement and reconfiguration of the wheelchair ramps and public entrances facing Main Street. The reconstruction, he said, would make the front entrance look “very much like it did when it was originally constructed.”

The building committee isn’t ready to make a decision on the future of city hall just yet. Committee members will continue to consider the proposals, and committee members said Friday they would like to compare the projected costs of renovation with those of constructing a new municipal building.