City Hall renovation plans call for more space, security

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Needed renovations at the aging City Hall Complex was the topic of discussion Monday by Pearland City Council.

Including design, budget discussions estimated about $4.9 million would renovate all three floors of City Hall and its community center annex. Proposed plans call for relocating finance and utility building to the community center.

Also needing renovation is council chambers: Next year, a new council position will be added, with another position the year after.

A major component of the work required is mechanical, engineering and plumbing, staff reported, and an overhauled heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will result in more efficient operation.

“We updated our cost estimates and looked at potential phasing plans, and our recommendation is to move forward with the entire project from a design standpoint with a base bid that includes the community center next door,” assistant city manager Trent Epperson said. The renovations will also mean more space for city staff.

“I think we’ve filled up every closet that’s sizable enough to put a desk in it,” he said.

Meeting spaces, too, will be more accessible to the public.

A restricted access and badge system would be implemented under the new design plan, he said. Also added will be security cameras, exterior lighting and upgrades to teller windows where cash transactions are handled.

Under the timeline discussed, a design contract would be awarded in April with construction beginning in 2016.

City Hall was finished in about 1985, Mayor Tom Reid said, and renovations have been discussed for several years.

“I think this accomplishes what we have talked about off and on over the past several years,” he said. “Trying to work all (needed changes) into this footprint is a challenge.”

Both buildings have several items that need to be brought into compliance with the ADA at a minimum, particularly restrooms.

“I think we’re taking the investment that was put in this building 30 years ago, updating it and doing it the best we can with our taxpayers’ dollars,” Councilman Keith Ordeneaux said.

Also on Monday, the Council approved changes to bylaws of the Pearland Economic Development Corp. limiting directors’ to three 2-year terms. The CEDC approved the changes at the January meeting.

“It never hurts to get new voices, and as someone term limited right now, I see the value of getting new blood in here,” Councilman Scott Sherman said.

Sherman recommended the city look at the measure for all its committees.

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