Site work on new IT building under way near library
Fri, 2016-12-02 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Work began this week on the site preparation for the city’s new Information Systems building to be installed behind the site of the old city hall.
The former expanse of grassy space will be occupied by a 6,144-square-foot building which will house the city’s fiberoptics infrastructure and servers, as well as offices and meeting space.
The project was originally approved by the Copperas Cove city council in September 2015 in order to move the city’s fiberoptic systems from the old city hall building. The city has spent $1,078,997 on the project to include the building itself, geotech and topographical studies, engineering services and site testing.
Delays on the project arose after requests for bids came in higher than expected for the site preparation work.
Kevin Keller, the city of Copperas Cove’s public information officer, said original bids for the site work came in higher than expected, with the bids saying the contractors would need to go down at least 10 feet to topsoil. However, after a soil study was completed it was determined that much depth wouldn’t be needed to prepare the site for the new building.
“The site work is going to take a month or so,” Keller said. “The building is already constructed, it’s pref-fab. They’re wanting to get it here as quick as they can. It won’t be too long and you’ll see that show up in the back parking lot of the old city hall.”
This solution of a new building has been more than four years in the making, since the summer of 2012. Due to the condition of old city hall at 507 S. Main St., the city had vacated those offices in June 2012, relocating the human resources department, information technology office, building department, city manager’s office, city secretary and the finance office to other locations in the city.
Due to a heavy rainstorm in March 2012, the 50-year-old building was left with a leaking roof and more water damage. City staff also inquired of an electrician about rewiring the building, and found the costs of that, along with roof repairs as well as asbestos remediation in that building, to be prohibitive. Renovations at that location would have also left the city’s fiberoptics and servers without a home, in the meantime.
As of this time, it’s not certain what will happen with “old city hall.” At the Sept. 6 city council meeting, the council voted to remove 507 S. Main St. from the list of properties the city is putting up for sale.
“I’m just not real comfortable or positive that it’s in the best interest of the city to sell old city hall. They’re not making any more property and once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Duncan said at that meeting. He also had the same reservations about selling the utility administration building at 305 S. Main.
Also at that time, councilman Kirby Lack said the old city hall is a prime piece of property, and that the building should be torn down and the property kept as green space or added parking, once the new IT building is installed. A cost estimate to demolish the old city hall building along with the old police station is around $65,000, city manager Andrea Gardner said at that meting.
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