Danville city hall not moving to Hub-Gilcher building

February 04, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Gone is the idea of a mayor's office overlooking Main Street in the Hub-Gilcher building. The municipal complex will likely stay put, and the existing city hall and Save-A-Lot properties renovated.

Danville Mayor John W.D. Bowling said he gave up on the idea of moving city hall into the Hub after the City Commission heard a presentation Tuesday from its consultant, Brandstetter-Carroll.

The options were to renovate the Save-A-Lot building and make it the city hall or the police station, or to renovate city hall and make it either the police station or keep it as city hall. Either would cost $3.5 million.

The steps in front of city hall should be ripped out, the consultants said, because they block drivers' views when exiting the parking lot. The entrance to the building would face the Save-A-Lot parking lot and an elevator would be added so that the basement would be handicapped accessible.


The central corridor in city hall would be cordoned off so the public could not have immediate access to city employees. The interruptions, allowed by the open hallways now, disrupt employees' work environment, consultants said. Instead, a lobby and receptionist desk would greet the public, and someone would direct people to appropriate offices.

Communications could move into the basement of city hall or go into the new southend fire station. Commissioners have not bought property for that station, but Bowling said he believes they will make a decision this month.

The cost of the station is estimated at $350,000, but Bowling said it could be more.

Bowling originally had suggested that the city consider moving into the Hub, but on Tuesday he said publicly that he no longer considers that an option. The offices would have been split among three floors, and total renovation costs would have been about $5 million.

City resident R.A. Chinn said, as someone who worked on building the existing city hall 40 years ago, that it was the best location for city offices. He believes that downtown will never be the retail center of town that it was before and that putting city offices in the Hub would not be the best option.

Bowling agreed, saying that Danville's future business district will be in the south side of town, and that while downtown could serve as a service center, it will never be what it once was.

The consultants will rework the existing options and plan to bring another set of suggestions to the commissioners in the near future.

Bowling said it still could be years before residents see a renovated municipal complex.

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