Committee gets 2nd cost estimate for city hall fix

MARSHALL – Members of a committee tasked with addressing the problems facing Marshall’s city hall building got some more cost estimates on Thursday. This time, it was local architectural firm TSP’s turn to give a rough estimate of what it would cost to renovate city hall.

In a meeting early Thursday morning, Ron Halgerson of TSP presented committee members with a preliminary budget of about $3.6 million for renovations and updates to the Marshall Municipal Building’s HVAC and utilities. That figure also included expenses like architectural and engineering fees but not furniture and fixtures, Halgerson said.

TSP was one of two groups the building committee approached to look at options for the municipal building on Main Street. The building, which dates back to the 1960s, has chronic problems with leaks, an ailing and outdated boiler and a water-damaged concrete floor in the former city fire and police garage.

A possible floor plan concept prepared by TSP earlier this spring would stabilize the garage floor and use the space for city offices, as well as renovating office space and city council chambers on the building’s upper floor. The concept also called for updates to the building’s Main Street entrance and wheelchair-accessible ramps and construction of a new elevator shaft at the front of the building.

The preliminary budget Halgerson presented was broken down into categories like updates to the building structure, interiors, mechanical and electrical systems. The most expensive category in the project would be updates to the building’s mechanical systems, at about $1 million.

“Mechanical is a big number,” Halgerson said. Part of the reason for that was the need to completely replace city hall’s heating and ventilation systems, he said. Halgerson recommended new computer-controlled thermostats be installed, as well as more efficient LED lights.

Halgerson said one item included in the preliminary budget that hadn’t been included in earlier building studies of city hall was a new roof. Halgerson and Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig said a new roof membrane might need to be part of renovations.

“We’ve got leaking, and we can’t identify the source. It might be the windows, it might be the roof,” Martig said.

Halgerson estimated the cost of renovations at about $129 per square foot of building space. Building a new city hall could cost anywhere from $185 to $190 per square foot of building space, he said.

“You could be over $5 million for construction of a new facility, plus its associated site improvements,” Halgerson said. That estimate also didn’t include the cost of demolition for the old building, he said.

Committee members said they would need to consider their options in more depth and set future meeting dates for May and June.

The building committee had also received a possible floor plan concept and cost estimates from ESG by Honeywell earlier this month. The ESG/Honeywell concept would put the city council chambers in the old garage space and allow for flexible office space on the building’s upper floor. The estimated cost for that renovation concept was projected at about $5.3 million.