Just because the city's deal to buy the Paul Sawyier Public Library is almost official doesn't mean City Hall has to move in.
Mayor Bill May - the most vocal opponent of moving city offices into the building, citing space concerns and potential flooding problems - wants to demolish the police station and fire administration offices on Second and Bridge streets and build a new City Hall, including police and fire departments, in that location. The cost of the project would be $6 million, surpassing the expected $3 million price tag to renovate the library building into City Hall.
However May said the long-term savings would outweigh that because it's cheaper to heat and cool a new building, plus a long needed police and fire station would be part of the complex. Those two new buildings would still be needed if the city moved into the library, May said.
The proposal comes after about a year of debate surrounding whether the city should even purchase the library building. Last month, the City Commission voted 3-2 to purchase the building for $730,000.
May is basing his idea and cost estimates for a campus City Hall setting on a similar project done in the 21,000-population Piqua, Ohio, built by Cole & Russell Architects of Cincinnati.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.