Construction winding down at new Cottage Grove City HallA Cottage Grove City Hall project roughly 10 years in the making soon will be open to the public. Construction is winding down on the new city government building on Keats Avenue ahead of an Oct. 20 public open house.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
A Cottage Grove City Hall project roughly 10 years in the making soon will be open to the public.
Construction is winding down on the new city government building on Keats Avenue ahead of an Oct. 20 public open house.
The bulk of construction has been completed, City Administrator Ryan Schroeder said last week. Much of the remaining work in the 67,000-square-foot building is cosmetic, such as touching up paint.
New furniture was delivered last week, including cubicles that will be used in both the general government and public safety areas. (With the exception of some chairs, most furniture at the current City Hall on 80th Street will remain there for when it is converted into the Business Enterprise Center.)
Upon entering the building, visitors will be in a main lobby area with a tall ceiling and natural light from windows on both ends of the corridor. From there they can access the council chambers, an entry area for the public safety department and a general government counter. That counter will be staffed by about four people who should be able to help residents with most any reason they need to go to City Hall, from building permits to construction inspections to property taxes, Schroeder said.
“You ought to be able to get that answered here at one spot,” he said. “This is the nerve center.”
The overall project has generally stayed on schedule, Schroeder said, but the plan to move staff equipment into the space was delayed about a month.
Desks and other office furniture are being assembled, and staff equipment will be moved from the old building to the new location after the upcoming open house. The city’s official move will take place on Saturday, Oct. 27, and employees will begin working at the new City Hall Oct. 29.
Outside the building, crews have been working on the stormwater retention system — essentially an underground tank that will collect stormwater from the building roof to be used for irrigation—and an amphitheater.
The amphitheater behind the building is a relatively modest design. There is limestone block in a terrace but there is no stage. The amphitheater could be used for small gatherings or city parks and recreation programs, Schroeder said. “It’s really just a sitting area,” he said.
Out front, visitors will be greeted by a veterans memorial just outside the front of the building. Five flagpoles for the five branches of the U.S. military will surround a fountain. The memorial likely will be dedicated during a Veterans Day ceremony next month.
Crews also continue to landscape around the building. The parking lot is paved and sidewalks are complete.
The building at 12800 Ravine Parkway will house general government offices, such as administration, finance and community development. A majority of the space in the new building is dedicated to public safety.
The project is scheduled to be completed on time and on budget
Employees are looking forward to moving from the old building to the new location, particularly public safety workers whose existing space is smaller than what is needed, Schroeder said.
“I’ll be good to have it done,” he said.