CENTERFIELD—The old Centerfield City Hall building was torn down over one year ago and construction of the new one is approaching final stages.
As of now, structural and interior work have largely wrapped up, and much of what remains to be done requires warmer temperatures and completion of administrative tasks.
“It’s pretty much done; we’re just waiting on some furniture and some handrails,” said Lacey Belnap, city recorder. She said she hoped the city hall could open by May 1.
The new building is surrounded by concrete walkways that connect entrances in the front and back to the sidewalk. Its sandy brick and dark roof and trim are darker shades of the color scheme of the Old Rock Church next door.
Outside the building, still to come are sod to be laid and blacktop to fill in the front lot and parking area. Belnap said in order to put down the blacktop, the temperature needs to constantly be around 55 degrees or warmer.
The city will also install an electrical sign in front of the new building. Paid for by federal CARES Act funding intended to support city projects related to COVID-19, the council said it will be used to display information about combating the spread of the virus, among other messages.
As for the interior of the building, there are offices for city officials, restrooms, a break room with kitchen-style cabinets and a hallway that connects these rooms to the front and back entrances to the council chambers.
In the council room, a dais that stretches the length of the room sits significantly elevated from ground level. Behind this are seats with stone-finished surface areas and electrical outlets.
Belnap said before furniture can be moved in, the city needs to clear an occupancy permit with the county.
The new city hall is a more modern, safer place to occupy than the former one, she said. Part of the decision to demolish the old one stemmed from a fire hazard, in that it only had one exit. Also, Belnap said, the heating and air conditioning there had failed.
At a meeting in June of 2019, Mayor Tom Sorenson said each of the old floor joists were held up by two stacked sandstone blocks. “If we had an earthquake,” he said, “the building would collapse in on itself.”
The following October, the Community Impact board approved a grant of $250,000 and loan of the same amount for the new city hall. The city is to repay the loan at 2.5 percent interest over 20 years.
The new building will have the same basic layout and office space as the old one, but will meet more code requirements and have updated safety features. It will be 2,400 square feet, as opposed to 2275 square feet, and have a basement for storage.
Centerfield City Council has been holding bi-weekly meetings in the Gunnison Irrigation Company building, which is only a few lots away, since the 2019 demolition.
The next city council meeting is tonight at 7 p.m.