Centerfield City Hall to be demolished
By Robert Stevens
CENTERFIELD—While the old bricks are being torn down and a new city hall is being built, the Centerfield city offices will be moved “two doors down.”
For the next year or so, city business will be conducted at the Gunnison Irrigation Company building, 110 S. Main, which is just two doors to the north, said Lacy Belnap, city recorder. Residents can send mail to the same post office box they have always used.
The irrigation company is allowing the city to use the building “rent free” and only asks the city to pay the utility bills, Belnap said.
In a normal year, the irrigation company uses the building for its annual meetings and the rest of the time it sits vacant.
The new city hall be built at the existing site, 130 S. Main, thanks to Community Impact Board (CIB) funding that was just approved this October, Belnap said.
The CIB approved a $250,000 grant and a $250,000 loan for a new city hall, Belnap said. The loan is to be repaid at 2.5 percent interest over 20 years. The $500,000 in funding should be plenty to build a new city hall, and the city plans on keeping to its budget, Belnap said.
Demolition and construction on the new city hall is planned for next spring. The building will have the same basic layout and office space as the old building, but with all the safety features and meeting code requirements. It will be 2,400 square feet, as opposed to 2275 square feet, and have a half basement for storage.
The city council has been discussing the need for a new city hall for much of the summer. The current city hall was falling apart and it did not meet fire codes. City officials reported the presence of some 70 cracks in the building’s walls, the precarious nature of the sandstone-block footings and the fact that the heating system and water heater rested on bare soil beneath the building.
At a meeting in June, Mayor Tom Sorenson said the floor joists are each held up by two stacked sandstone blocks. “If we had an earthquake,” he said, “the building would collapse in on itself.”
At the same meeting, Jed Hansen, the Gunnison Valley Fire Chief, expressed that he would rather cope with a building with fewer code violations. The asbestos in the attic and the absence of any exits other than the front door topped the list of his concerns.
At the time, the council concurred there was a definite need for a new building, but nothing fancy was required. The anticipated costs were about $350,000.
After preliminary bids came in higher than projected, Centerfield revised its funding application to the CIB in September, Belnap said.
An architect from Sevier County, Kathleen Black, is drafting the final plans and once those are finished, the project will be put out to bid and a contractor will be selected, Belnap said.
The exiting city hall was built around 1908 and Centerfield was officially established in 1909.