TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – You’ll start seeing construction crews in the next couple of weeks or so at the site of the future City Hall.

On Wednesday, city staff and the project manager from Starr Corp. took local media on a tour of the former Banner Furniture building, showing what subcontractors will be working on in the coming months.

Demolition work already has been completed and, besides minor work on the structure, the building is ready for work to begin that will shape the former furniture store into a modern City Hall.

Work aims to be done in such a way to have as little impact on local businesses as possible, said Deputy City Manager Mitch Humble. Construction crews will set up a staging area across the street, where the Rogerson Hotel once stood and will be the future downtown commons area.

Entrance to the building will be on the corner of Hansen Street and Main Avenue East, the same as the furniture store – but inside everything will look different, modern, and with some several thousand square feet of space to grow.

In all, the building is about 50,000 square feet, Humble said, but the city will use only about 32,000 square feet to begin. The main level will welcome visitors with a modern lobby and have departments accessed more frequently by the general public. The mezzanine will be expanded to a full second floor and hold construction services departments such as engineering and planning and zoning. The third floor will house the economic development, human resources, finances and IT departments.

“We’re all pretty excited about it,” Humble said of the open space.

Windows will look out onto the commons and larger downtown area – a view from the third floor of mature trees, rooftops and buildings – and allow a lot of natural light into the building.

“The second and third floors will likely be where most of the growth will occur,” he said, noting that as the city grows so will its staff.

The basement will hold the Council Chambers, which will be about 33 percent larger than the current chambers at 305 Third Ave. East. Its ceiling will be two stories high. The main floor will offer an airy, glass-enclosed view of the chambers below.

Photo by Andrew Weeks
Photo by Andrew Weeks

Throughout the building the design and décor will be such that lends an atmosphere of modernity and movement with various shades of carpet, wall trimmings, and woodwork.

Some of the building’s original wood will be utilized in parts of its design, said Grant Writer Mandi Thompson. Old photos from Twin Falls’ early years will help decorate the walls, including a mural of the construction of the Perrine Bridge.

The city manager’s office will have sliding glass doors, and cubicles will have desks that rise, allowing staff to either sit or stand at their computer terminals – something that Thompson said she and her colleagues are excited about. A few of the new desks were recently installed at the temporary City Hall to give employees an idea of what they’ll be using at their future work space.

The commons area where the Rogerson Hotel once stood will be completed the same time as City Hall, in about September or October 2017. It will be a welcoming site for visitors and a venue for downtown concerts and other community events.

Once the building and commons area are completed, “I think it will draw a lot of people downtown,” she said.

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