Site Study Recommends Downtown Location for New Municipal Complex
March 16, 2018
City leaders have published the final report from the first phase of a site study and concept plan for a new municipal complex conducted by Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC), the architectural and engineering firm retained to work on the analysis in February 2017. The administration previously presented preliminary data to the City Council and the public during a work session on December 12, 2017.
To conduct the study, GMC used space utilization data provided by the administration and surveyed department heads about optimal workspace environments and future needs.
Three potential sites for the complex were under consideration: City Hall’s existing location, the site of the municipal parking garage on Fountain Row and Gates Avenue, and the site of a city-owned parking lot on Clinton Avenue adjacent to Huntsville Utilities.
Of the three sites, GMC is recommending City Hall relocate across the street on the site of the municipal parking garage. The firm provided concept sketches of a modern five-story building to include 130,000 square feet of office space and a parking garage with more than 700 spaces.
“This is our first look at what is possible on this site and how it might function with our projected needs,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.
GMC’s recommended site is also consistent with the Downtown Master Plan recently completed by the City and its consultant, Urban Design Associates.
At present, city offices are stretched across five different buildings in the downtown area occupying more than 155,000 square feet. A new building would bring departments under one roof, providing cost efficiencies in operations and easier access for the public using their services.
“The study provides us a path forward to begin evaluating how offices would function in the proposed space,” said City Administrator John Hamilton.
GMC is now proceeding to Phase II of the study which develops greater detail in the schematic designs and further refines the square footage and layout requirements for each department.
The City Council has programmed funding in the capital plan for construction to begin in 2019.