Denison officials recently said the planned move to the new City Hall building will take longer than anticipated following delays in construction. While city officials originally anticipated that the change would take place in late July, the planned relocation will now take place on Aug. 24 with the first day of business scheduled for the following Monday.
Denison first announced plans to relocate City Hall from its current location to the former Bank of America building on Main Street in late 2015. Since 2017, the city has worked to renovate the former bank building to meet the needs of the city for years to come.
“The flooring on the first floor is what is really holding it up,” City Manager Jud Rex said, describing the project as 95 percent complete. “We have a solution moving forward. It’s not really two weeks worth of delay, but we wanted to find a better date to move. The last 5 percent is just going to take some time.”
The delays came as the city unexpectedly needed to change the flooring type on the ground floor of the building after having difficulty finding contractors to work on the existing material on the city’s time schedule, officials said. One of the features Denison officials wanted to maintain in the renovations to the building was the distinctive terrazzo floors. However, Rex said that kind of construction has become something of a lost art.
“We had planned to keep it, but there’s not many contractors that do that work any more,” he said. “They basically can’t mobilize in time to get it done.”
Rex said he was unsure what replacement would be used for the flooring as the city is still looking at samples.
This is the second time the project has been delayed this year. As a late addition to the project, the city recently added new heating and air conditioning equipment and a new roof to the scope of the project as the existing pieces would likely need to be replaced in less than a decade.
In April, city officials announced the planned opening would take place in July as the ventilation equipment was still in production. In order to install this equipment, crews would need to cut through the roof in order to place the equipment on the top floor. This in turn delayed the construction of the new roof.
This work has since been completed, Rex said, adding that work on the second and third floors was “99.9 percent complete.” The final items left to be finished included minor touch ups and other close-out items, he said.
With the new building, city officials planned to bring the vast majority of the city’s staff under the same roof rather than being spread out over several facilities. With this, the city will be able to end its lease of the current City Hall building and the neighboring annex, which currently houses the water department and some building officials. Rex said he did not know what the future would be for those facilities.
Meanwhile, Denison will still use some of the offices at the city’s SNAP Center for Parks and Recreation Department officials, but the move will allow the city to explore other uses for the freed office space.
City Hall will be closed during the move on Aug. 24, but Rex said crews will have completed the work over the weekend. The Denison City Council is expected to meet for the first time at the new City Hall on Sept. 4, following the Labor Day weekend.