by Mayor Dale Ross
Construction is starting on the renovation of two City buildings that will be part of a civic campus for City government offices. Known as Downtown West, the new civic campus will include a City Hall and Council Chamber and Municipal Court Building as well as the existing Georgetown Public Library that opened in 2007, the Historic Light and Water Works office building, and a public parking lot on Eighth Street.
The new civic campus on the west side downtown brings together a number of City of Georgetown offices and services. The plan also allows the City to sell other buildings on the Square that can become prime retail, restaurant, or commercial locations.
The former public library building at 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St. is being renovated to become a new City Hall office building. The 1987 library building was vacated when the new Public Library opened one half-block to the east. City Hall will include offices for City management, City Secretary’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, Economic Development, Finance, Human Resources, and the Mayor. The building renovation will retain most of the limestone exterior walls as well as structural beams and the foundation.
Council Chambers and Municipal Court
Adjacent to the new City Hall will be the new Council Chambers and Municipal Court. The City office building at 510 W. Ninth St. currently called the Communication and Technology Building will be renovated to become the Council Chambers and Municipal Court. An addition on the east side of the building will include the new City Council Chamber that also serves as a municipal courtroom. The addition also houses a jury room and council meeting room. Offices for Municipal Court and Accounting will be on the first floor in the existing structure. Currently the building houses the Information Technology Department, which will remain on the 2nd floor.
A walkway and green space area will connect Council Chambers and Municipal Court with City Hall. The one-block section of 9th Street between two buildings and adjoining green space can be used for events.
The $13 million project is funded by proceeds from the sale of City buildings, municipal bonds, and fee revenues. Construction starts in December and should be complete in 12 months. The architect for the renovation project is Lawrence Group and the contractor is Balfour Beatty.
The current Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St., and City Hall, 113 E. Eighth St., and Council Chambers and Municipal Court, 101 E. Seventh St., will be sold for retail or commercial use. A request for proposals to purchase each building will be released in early-2018.
The new civic complex on Eighth and MLK streets will centralize several offices that are currently in buildings scattered throughout the city. In addition to providing needed facility space, the new civic campus enables easier collaboration for City employees and convenience for residents using City services.