Cottage Grove City Hall unveiled to publicCapping two decades of discussion and 10 years of planning, the city of Cottage Grove marked the grand opening of its new City Hall and public safety building.
Capping two decades of discussion and 10 years of planning, the city of Cottage Grove on Saturday marked the grand opening of its new City Hall and public safety building.
The city’s operations won’t formally call the new digs home until Monday, Oct. 29, but City Council members past and present, municipal employees, local officials and several hundred Cottage Grove residents gathered on a warm, sunny autumn afternoon to celebrate the completion of the $15.1 million facility.
The new City Hall, financed with the city’s fund reserves — and, officials have stressed, without raising property taxes — is “a very beautiful — but most important — functional and enduring facility,” Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey told the hundreds of attendees at Saturday’s event.
The 67,000-square-foot, two-level building at 12800 Ravine Parkway includes integrated office space for the city’s administration, finance and community development departments that officials say will be more efficient than the cramped, more-than 40-year-old building on 80th Street.
But, most importantly, city leaders say, the building will serve as a more modern base for the Cottage Grove Public Safety Department that will bring police, fire and EMS administration under one roof. It also will include increased interview and investigation space, a detention area that meets current codes, improved evidence storage and a lower-level garage with enough space to keep all of the department’s vehicles out of the elements.
“This building is basically a rambler with a tuck-under garage,” joked City Administrator Ryan Schroeder, standing beneath the building’s angular awning that juts out from the lobby area toward the facility’s parking lot.
The new City Hall, though strongly criticized by some as unnecessary or too expensive, will save the city money in the long run, officials say. High-efficiency heating and cooling systems and lighting systems, a rooftop irrigation system that collects rainwater for watering the city government campus and an overall emphasis on sustainability will bolster those benefits, Schroeder said.
“There’s an awful lot happening behind the walls of this building that will pay dividends for years to come,” he said.
Visitors to the building enter a bright, central lobby lit naturally by floor-to-ceiling windows; from there a general government reception desk, public safety reception area and a glassed-in Council chambers are steps away. A small amphitheater with stone seating is built into a hill at the rear of the building and a veterans’ memorial — to be dedicated in a separate ceremony on Nov. 11 — sits near the front entrance to City Hall.
“This is a place,” Bailey said, “for you to use, enjoy and call your own.”