Wanted: More input on city hall

Wanted: More input on city hall
The city of Vermillion will be hosting a public meeting on the city hall construction project on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and be held at the William J. Radigan Fire Station, 820 North Dakota Street.

The purpose of the meeting is to update the community on recent activity that has taken place in preparing for the construction project, gather community information on public spaces in the building, and ask for reaction to possible building styles. USD Professor Dr Matthew Fairholm will moderate the meeting.

Last April, Bob Fuller, Nikki Peters and Howard Willson, members of a 12-person citizens' committee given the task of researching the need and various solutions, if necessary, for a new city hall in Vermillion, unveiled a conceptual model created by a consulting architectural firm that shows how the new city hall may appear.

The result is building with a lower level and higher level roof, an atrium, and a high entrance with covered by a sweeping arch.

Fuller noted that the model is only a concept and the final building may have an entirely different appearance.

"This recommendation includes purchasing the property just east of the current city hall, relocating the city employees to a temporary location, removing the current city hall building and three nearby houses, and constructing the new city hall," Fuller told the city council last spring.

The conceptual design follows countless hours of work by the committee. From March 2004 to July 2005, the group held 24 meetings, conducted three public forums, met with several community leaders, conducted a tour of the present city hall and kept busy researching the data they were gathering.

The committee also hired a consulting architectural firm to conduct a space needs assessment of the existing city hall. It concluded that it would not be feasible to attempt to refurbish the old building. The committee also concluded that the old building, even if refurbished, couldn't meet the long-range needs of the community.

The committee initially developed a list of 20 potential sites for the new city hall. Finalist among this group included the Bank of the West building, the site of the Fullerton Lumber Company, the southeast corner of Market and Kidder streets where the old National Guard Armory is located, and the current city hall site.

A second committee, appointed in the fall of 2005, eventually decided to recommend that the new city hall be constructed on the site of the present city hall.

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