Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Council Ponders Updating, Enlargement of City Hall

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Council Ponders Updating, Enlargement of City Hall

Article excerpt

Black Jack City Council members struggled this week with how best to enlarge their cramped City Hall while making it accessible to the handicapped.

Council members considered a report from Stephen Knarr, a project manager with WVP Corp., which outlined the possibilities of enlarging and updating the building, which is more than half a century old.

Knarr's plan called for:

Adding a two-story wing on the north side of the building, which would more than double the size of the council chambers.

Increasing the number of parking spaces to 53 from 25.

Constructing wheelchair-accessible entrances, passageways and restrooms.

Reorganizing the city's offices to the lower level.

The addition would increase the building to 7,500 square feet from 4,200 square feet, and would cost roughly $650,000, Knarr said.

Councilman Albert Schroeder, 2nd Ward, objected to the relegation of city employees to the lower level because of the limited number of windows and the back entrance. "I think you've got a bad working environment down there," he said.

Councilman Arnold Dominguez, 4th Ward, agreed. "I don't like the idea of everyone going in the back door to conduct business with the city," he said.

Council members discussed the possibility of filling in the gap in the "L-shaped" plan drawn by WVP with another wing, which would yield 2,000 additional square feet.

Councilman Bob Simmons, 2nd Ward, pointed out that the cheapest time to make additions and changes to a building is during construction. "In a few years, we could find ourselves constricted again," he cautioned.

Knarr estimated the cost of the additional wing at $100,000.

Dominguez raised the possibility of constructing a new, one-story building of roughly 7,500 square feet. Knarr said that a new building would likely cost less - primarily because of the expense involved with the two-story structure. …

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