Plans under way for building in Alachua


Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 1:05 a.m.
ALACHUA - The sketches show a two-story building with big porch, a swooping arch and a clock tower, with City Hall and the police headquarters in the same complex.
The clock, the materials and other design elements are still up for debate, with a few workshops left to fine-tune plans for the city's new $4.9 million municipal complex.
But whether the buildings are made from limestone or brick and whether the archway is tall or squat, the city hopes to break ground on the complex off NW 142 Avenue this August.
City officials Monday said they were more than ready to leave an aging building they said they had clearly outgrown.
"For a city that's getting more and more professional, it's time we get moving on a building that's more professional, as well," City Manager Clovis Watson said.
Howard J. McLean Jr., president of Skinner, Vignola and McLean architects and planners, presented several different options for floor plans and exterior designs to commissioners at a Monday evening workshop.
Planning for the new municipal building started last June. The City Commission is aiming to put the project out to bid this spring and to finish construction in August 2006.
Watson said the city had not discussed financing options yet, but said it would do so as development gets nearer.
The new city hall's 20,500 square feet of space would bring several city departments under one roof, Watson said. The current city hall is about 14,000 square feet, Watson said.
The new building also would place the commissioners' and mayor's offices in the front of the building to make sure city residents can find them easily.
"I like that this takes into account the needs of the public," Mayor Jean Calderwood said. "It has space for the privacy our citizens deserve when they come in to speak with us."
McLean said he would have more options for the city at its next workshop Feb. 23.
Amy Reinink can be reached at (352) 374-5088 or reinina@gvillesun.com.

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