Location, Accessibility, and Departments
Location and Accessibility Paducah's City Hall is located at 300 South 5th Street. The building and grounds, which encompass a city block, are accessible with a ramp on South 5th Street and an elevator.
Departments The building has three levels (two main floors and a basement). The first floor contains the Finance Department, Human Resources, Fire Prevention Division, Human Rights Commission, and the Paducah Ambassadors. The second floor houses the Administration Department which includes offices for the Mayor, City Manager, City Clerk, and Communications Manager. Also on the second floor are the Engineering Department, Planning Department, and the City Commission Chambers and Conference Room. The basement houses meeting and storage space in addition to mechanical components.
2020 Garden Club of America Award
The Paducah Garden Club (PGC) presented Paducah with a Garden Club of America Historic Preservation Commendation for City Hall. PGC Awards Chairman Sid Hancock and Garden Club of America Zone VII Awards Chairman Kim DeCamp of Lexington presented the award in the beautifully renovated atrium of City Hall on January 17. Hancock and DeCamp made the presentation “in appreciation for the rehabilitation of a historic structure and for the preservation of the City's and Commonwealth's history.” The Garden Club of America has a mission of restoring, improving, and protecting the quality of the environment through action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement. The Paducah Garden Club is a member of The Garden Club of America.
2019 Preservation Kentucky Award
Paducah’s City Hall has been recognized by Preservation Kentucky with the 2019 David L. Morgan Excellence Award. This honors us for using Kentucky’s State Historic Preservation Tax Credits in the recent rehabilitation of City Hall.
Preservation Kentucky Executive Director Betsy Hatfield says, ”There is a direct link between historic preservation and healthy communities. Historic buildings are how we identify with our communities, and our attachment to our communities is an important indicator of how economically successful our communities will be. Historic preservation is good for business, our economy and our quality of life."
National Register of Historic Places
In 2017, the City of Paducah received notification from the Kentucky Heritage Council that City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street is listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. City Hall was nominated under Criterion C which focuses on the design, architecture, and construction of the building. The National Park Service officially listed City Hall on July 13, 2017.(View ‘Weekly List for July 14, 2017’ at http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/nrlist.htm to see listing.)
Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
Included in the nomination application for City Hall is a Statement of Significance paragraph. A portion of the paragraph is as follows:
Referred to as a “shrine to Democracy” the building symbolizes the prevailing will of the citizens of Paducah and three administrations committed to renewal and economic resurgence of the City. The building became the face and new image of the city and a symbol of progress under Paducah’s Local Urban Renewal Program and the Federal Capital Grant Program for Urban Renewal under Title I. With the design of an internationally known architect, and the most prominent representation of New Formalism design in the city of Paducah, the property is also architecturally significant evaluated within the historic context of New Formalism Architecture in Paducah, Kentucky 1960-1965. The building resulted from a highly successful collaboration between a prominent architect and a City determined to express its distinct identity through a landmark civic building. The building’s striking design-employing the classical symmetry, colonnaded portico and geometric elements-displays Paducah’s most accomplished instance of New Formalist design. The Period of Significance begins in 1963, the original construction date and runs until 1965, when the building’s construction was complete. The property’s significant period continues to contribute to the architectural environment of the City of Paducah as an unprecedented local architectural monument and a symbol of mid-century progressive movement within local government into the present.
As part of the nomination process, the City of Paducah made presentations and allowed for public comments before the Historic & Architectural Review Commission (HARC) on November 14, 2016, the Paducah Board of Commissioners on November 29, 2016, and the Kentucky Heritage Council Historic Preservation Review Board on December 12, 2016. The Kentucky Heritage Council Review Board approved Paducah's application that was forwarded to the National Park Service for final determination.
History and Architecture
Discussions of a new City Hall began in the early 1950s. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Paducah was following the lead of other cities by rebuilding, rebranding, and revitalizing its image. In 1962, the Fantus Plan adopted by City and County governments called for creation of new image of Paducah by upgrading it physically, economically, socially, and culturally. In the plan, “A new, well-planned, well-designed city hall will be a symbol of Paducah’s economic resurgence. It will be an indication to citizens and visitors alike that something new is happening in Paducah. The psychological effects of such a new building, having good land-use planning, and architectural design, will be of considerable value in changing Paducah’s image from that of just another Ohio River town to that of a community which has taken hold of its problems and is working toward their solution."
Also in the early 1960’s, the Paducah McCracken Development Council proposed a new City Hall as part of a federally funded urban renewal project. The council asked Paducah architect Lee Potter Smith to suggest a prominent architect for the design. Paducah's City Hall was designed by world famous architect Edward Durell Stone and constructed by local contractors. Stone flew into Paducah in 1963 carrying a scale model of City Hall. Stone also designed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (opened in 1971), the U.S. Pavilion for the Brussels World's Fair (opened in 1958), and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India (opened in 1959). Several of these buildings have features that resemble Paducah’s City Hall such as symmetry, columned porticos, connecting plazas, gardens, and water features.
City Hall was built beginning in 1963 during the administration of Mayor Robert Cherry (1960-1964) and dedicated during Mayor Tom Wilson’s administration (1964-1968). The dedication of City Hall was held February 28, 1965. The Police Department also moved into the basement of the building that month. The Police Department now is located at 1400 Broadway.
Paducah's City Hall is a concrete structure covered by stone. It has unique features including large exterior columns. The lighting around the exterior of the building makes City Hall appear like it's floating. The top of the building has a pyramid-shaped "lantern" that points 20 feet toward the sky (40 feet above the ground level). The exterior is a graceful blend of old South, modern, and classical styling with the columns more of a Graeco-Roman era and Southern Colonial. The eaves provide a large shaded porch that protects the windows from direct sunlight. The cantilevered porch prevents heating and cooling units from being on the roof.
Inside City Hall, the emphasis is on lighting and openness with no dark hallways. The inner court (atrium) is a 60-foot square with a sunken fountain. The fountain area now holds greenery. The atrium used to have orange swivel chairs and marble-top coffee tables. The offices are on the exterior walls of the building to take advantage of the windows and the atrium area.
Stone also proposed a plaza with a fountain to link City Hall, the McCracken County Courthouse and the McCracken County Library. In 1970, landscape architects Scruggs and Hammonds designed the plaza. It was later named for former Mayor Dolly McNutt. Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza has a fountain, monuments, benches, tables, free wireless internet, and landscaping.
In the lobby of City Hall at the South 5th Street entrance is a large phosphor bronze bell. The bell which weighs 3500 pounds was constructed in 1883. Inscribed on the bell is "The Jones, Troy Bell Foundry Co. Troy, NY 1883". It sounded each hour on the clock tower on Paducah's City Hall when it was located on 4th Street at Kentucky (332 Kentucky) from 1883-1966. The building was razed in 1983, and the bell was found in three pieces in the ashes. In 1986, Mr. Beasley of Beasley Monument Company offered to keep the bell on his property. One night a motorist missed a curve and smashed into the bell breaking it into several more pieces. In 1989, Mayor Gerry Montgomery sought help in restoring the bell. VMV Enterprises donated 330 man hours and put the bell back together. Work, including mounting the phosphor bronze bell on marble, was completed on October 31, 1991. The bell was dedicated on January 5, 1992. It was later placed in City Hall where it is housed today. On the plaque above the bell the following are recognized for their participation in the restoration of the bell: Beasley Monument Company; Falconite, Inc.; Iron Workers Local Union Number 782; Jones Glass Company, Inc.; Paducah Life Member Club of the Telephone Pioneers of America; Peck Flannery Gream Warren, Inc.; VMW Enterprises; Welders Supply, Inc.; and the City of Paducah.
Paducah Life Magazine Article 2019
In the July/August 2019 edition of PADUCAH LIFE Magazine, writer Roy Hensel posed the question, for whom does the bell toll? He answers: From 1883 to 1964, I suppose it tolled for everyone who was in downtown Paducah near the intersection of 4th and Kentucky. That was the location of the old City Hall (now a parking lot) and the clock tower where the bell was located. It would toll at the top of the hour all day for busy downtowners.
When City Hall was built in 1883, a large ton-and-a-half bell was placed in the clock tower. Cast by the Jones Troy Bell Foundry, according to the patent, in 1853, the bell has the date 1883 on it. Besides tolling for the hour, the bell served other purposes as well. According to a 1902 newspaper story, it was tolled for "Curley" the city hall mascot when the poor animal died.
The bell hung in the clock tower for eighty years until city hall was replaced with the present one. The bell was stored in the Paducah Terminal Warehouse on Harrison St. The warehouse burned in 1983, severely damaging the bell, leaving it in three large pieces. A junk dealer almost bought its remains to be used as scrap metal when "Dub" Beasley of the Beasley Monument Co. persuaded the city not to sell it. In the summer of 1966, Beasley offered to store it at his monument business. One Saturday night of that year, a car lost control on a curve in front of the store on S 13th St. and ran into the bell, breaking it into several more pieces. But you can't keep a good bell down as it had already literally, like the phoenix, "rose from the ashes."
In 1989, Mayor Gerry Montgomery discovered the bell. City officials and VMV took up a mission to repair it. VMV took the pieces of the bell to the railroad shops, and skilled craftsmen Max Norwood and John Millay spent 340 hours welding the pieces together using materials donated by Welders Supply. Once complete, the bell found a new home, displayed in the current city hall.
From 1883 until 1990 when it was rescued, few people ever actually saw the bell. But now all the people can go to city hall and marvel at its beauty. It not only stands for a large part of the history of Paducah as it faithfully ran the downtown area "by the clock," by which people could set their watch, but it demonstrates how groups can come and work together to save a special part of our town's legacy.
Rehabilitation Project 2017-2019
- About the Rehabilitation Project
The City of Paducah contracted with Marcum Engineering for the engineering design for the first phase of City Hall rehabilitation. Phase IA included the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roofing membrane, concrete overhang (canopy) through steel beam stabilization of roof cantilevers, façade, heating and cooling systems, skylights, windows, and exterior doors. The estimated cost for design services and construction along with a construction contingency was approximately $4.9 million. A contract was approved January 23, 2018, with A&K Construction in the amount of $4,293,781 for the project. Five changes orders have been approved for the project as well. Taking into account the cost reductions and increases due to the five Change Orders, the total contract with A&K currently is $4,165,285.
The contractor began working March 4, 2018 and was significantly completed in mid-February 2019. An Unveiling Ceremony was held May 2, 2019 for the community. Funds identified for the project including using a combination of anticipated historic tax credits, the remaining funds from the City Hall visioning and design project with RATIO, and reserve funds from the General Fund and Solid Waste Fund.
- May 2, 2019: The Paducah City Hall Unveiling Ceremony and Dogwood Trail Awards Presentation was Thursday, May 2 at 4 p.m. The community celebrated the rehabilitation project to preserve City Hall.
- March 26, 2019: The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for Contract Amendment #1 with Marcum Engineering, LLC for the City Hall Renovation Project. Marcum has provided the design and construction administration services on the project. The City approved a fee of $337,000 for the project which went into effect in April 2017. This amendment increases Marcum’s contract by $59,500 to a total contract amount of $396,500. The contract increases are due to a variety of factors including the addition of landscaping and lighting services, coordination with the Kentucky Heritage Council, time extensions due to construction, and additional services due to concrete podium changes and the abatement of materials.
- January 22, 2019: The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved Change Order No. 5 for the City Hall Phase I project. This change order adds 30 days to the project schedule with A&K Construction. With this change order, the City is looking forward to a substantial project completion date of February 15. The Change Order also reduces the total contract. The reduction primarily is due to a decision to replace only the deteriorated sections of concrete on the podium (exterior porch area) rather than all of the podium’s concrete. This Change Order reduces the contract with A&K by $156,998 leading to a current contract of $4,165,285.
- August 28, 2018: The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved two emergency ordinances for Change Order No. 3 and Change Order No. 4 related to activities on the interior of the building around the lantern, the atrium area with the skylights. One of the items in the City Hall rehabilitation project is the replacement of the skylight windows and their trim in addition to the refinishing of the wood grid on the interior of the ceiling around the skylights. When the wood grid on the ceiling was being removed, a small portion of the ceiling material fell which caused the work in that area to stop until more review could take place. It was anticipated that the ceiling material would stay intact. After reviewing the material, two points were observed: 1) the ceiling material is not fully intact and in danger of coming loose; therefore, it needs to be removed and replaced; and 2) the material is more than just the concrete as outlined in the 1963 construction plans. The concrete material has a thin plaster finish applied to it which testing reveals contains a low level of asbestos. City Hall has been tested through air monitoring and surface testing. Testing reveals that exposure to any asbestos for staff and the public was negligible. To safely remove the material from the ceiling, crews will work during the City Hall closure time from late Thursday, August 30 through Monday, September 3. Employees and the public will not be allowed in the building during that time. Change Order No. 3 is related to the placement of large scaffolding and a curtain barrier in the interior of City Hall and the testing and clean-up services. Change Order No. 3 increases the contract with A&K construction by $63,854. Change Order No. 4 is related to work to remove the interior ceiling material and repair and paint the ceiling. Change Order No. 4 increases the A&K contract by $154,193. With these two change orders, the total contract with A&K Construction is $4,322,283.
- July 24, 2018: The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for Change Order No. 2 which involves nine elements that have either been deleted or added to the project. The net result of the nine elements increases the contract with A&K by $16,836. A portion of the cost increase is due to the repair needed to the beams and canopy after the removal of paint and concrete filler revealed several areas in need of patching. Another addition is due to the need to increase the roof slope for drainage.
- July 10, 2018: The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for Change Order No. 1 which reduces the City’s contract with A&K Construction by $206,381. This reduction is due the Kentucky Heritage Council’s (KHC) recent decision to approve a less expensive window supplier. Since City Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places, the project team must submit key components of the rehabilitation project to the KHC for approval.
- March 4, 2018: Beginning of Phase IA project with closure of Clark Street at South 4th, mobilization of equipment, and installation of safety fencing.
- January 23, 2018: Approval of $4,293,781 contract with A&K Construction for the Phase IA City Hall Rehabilitation Project.
- July 13, 2017: City Hall named to National Register of Historic Places
- June 13, 2017: Municipal order approved outlining the funding sources for Phase 1A of the City Hall Rehabilitation Project. The estimated project cost is $4,857,000. Funds have been identified using a combination of historic tax credits (estimated at $482,435), the remaining funds from the City Hall visioning and design project with RATIO ($1,224,565), and reserve funds from the General Fund ($1,150,000) and Solid Waste Fund ($2 million). This first phase would address City Hall’s roof, canopy, furnace and air conditioning systems, windows, and façade.
- April 25, 2017: Approval of $337,000 contract for architectural and engineering services with Marcum Engineering for Phase I. Phase I will include the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roof, concrete overhang (canopy), façade, heating and cooling systems, and windows.
- 2016-2017: Pursuing the listing for City Hall on the the National Register of Historic Places
- April 19, 2016: Presentation by RATIO Architects at Paducah Board of Commissioners meeting to present two schematic design options and feedback from public information meeting.
- March 21, 2016: Public Information Meeting at City Hall to view and provide input on two design options, 6:30-8 p.m.
- October 20, 2015: The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a contract with RATIO Architects to provide design and architectural services in an amount not to exceed $1.622 million for the City Hall project.
- May 26, 2015: Deadline for interested parties to submit Request for Qualifications for architectural services for the construction of a new City Hall.
- May 2015: At the May 12, 2015 City Commission meeting, the City Commission heard a presentation by Dr. James Mason regarding alternate methods of stabilizing the existing structure.
- March 2015: At the March 17, 2015 City Commission meeting, the City Commission approved a motion to proceed with the development of a request for proposals for architectural and engineering services. The top three sites in the Civic Center Zone are all being considered.
- November 2014: At the November 18, 2014 City Commission meeting a summary of the citizen engagement process was presented. The City Commission decided to proceed with the preliminary design of a new building in the civic center zone.
- August - September 2014: For a six week period through September 14, 2014, the City went through a citizen engagement process to receive input regarding the five values. Look under public engagement below for more information.
- August 2014: The City Commission and directors gathered input regarding five values to develop guiding principles for the City Hall Project. The City Commission and directors held a workshop on August 5, 2014 to begin that process.
- June 2014: At the June 3, 2014 Commission meeting, the City Manager recommended the formation of a 2050 City Hall Working Group with the responsibility of working through the decision-making process and incorporating citizen engagement.
- May 2014: The City received an analysis of the building's structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovations. Specifically the study included an architectural spatial analysis, a structural analysis, mechanical and electrical assessments, and a conceptual cost estimate. The assessment was presented at the May 20, 2014 Commission meeting.
- 2013: The City Commission started reviewing in depth the structural needs of the building.
- Authorization of Architectural & Engineering Services Agreement (April 25, 2017)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a $337,000 contract for architectural and engineering services with Marcum Engineering for the City Hall Phase I project. Phase I will include the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roof, concrete overhang (canopy), façade, heating and cooling systems, and windows. The estimated cost for design services and construction along with a construction contingency is approximately $4.9 million. The goal is to complete the design and bidding process so that the construction for Phase I can begin early in 2018.
- Summary Report by RATIO Architects (April 19, 2016)
In a presentation to the Paducah Board of Commissioners at its April 19, 2016 meeting, Planning Director Steve Ervin provided opening comments including a timeline of the process since 2014 regarding the City Hall Project. Last year, the City engaged RATIO Architects for the project. Over the past several months, RATIO’s design team has worked with the elected officials, city staff, and the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group to complete an in-depth process of visioning, programming, pre-design, and schematic design for two design options: rehabilitation of the existing City Hall and construction of a new building. The key outcomes for either City Hall design is that the building
1) Improves the customer experience
2) Improves city staff functionality
3) Energizes the Civic Zone District of downtown
4) Provides a modern, adaptable workplace for 50 years, and
5) Contributes to Paducah’s identity and culture.
RATIO held meetings with staff and the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group on November 17-18, 2015; January 5-6, 2016; and February 3, 2016. A public meeting was held March 21 to solicit feedback on the schematic designs. RATIO’s work also includes a master plan of Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza.
Rob Proctor and Brooke Funkhouser with RATIO Architects attended the meeting and provided an overview of the two schematic designs and the preliminary conceptual cost estimates. Regarding the dual pathway of design, Proctor says, “That’s a very unique process, one that we embraced whole-heartedly.” Funkhouser says, “This needs to be a place that you remember. It’s a government building. It’s a civic building.” Proctor adds, “We are celebrating government through the vehicle of design.”
The rehabilitation option involves stabilizing the existing City Hall’s canopy, improving its seismic stability, and rehabilitating its mechanical elements. The Commission Chambers would be moved to the first floor. The rehabilitation also incorporates glass on the interior to improve departmental communication and functionality and to increase customer service and way-finding. The departmental configuration would be adjusted to look at shared spaces and increase the number of departments that could operate from the building. The preliminary cost estimate for the rehabilitation is $18 million. That number includes a cost to temporarily relocate the staff during construction.
The new building option involves the construction of a four-story structure on the city-owned property on Clark Street that faces Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza. Funkhouser says, “We selected a site that basically completes the Civic Center Zone quad.” The exterior design uses a variety of materials including metal panels, glass, and stone. The sun angles also were taken into consideration. Funkhouser says, “We want to have this building stand on its own but be respectful of the Edward Durell Stone building.” This design also places the Commission Chambers on the first floor with a pre-function space and gallery area. The preliminary cost estimate for the new construction is $18.5 million. That number includes an estimated cost of $590,000 to stabilize the current City Hall until a new owner or purpose could be determined.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners expressed their appreciation to the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group and applauded the professionalism and work completed by RATIO. Commissioner Richard Abraham commented that the next step is to decide which option is the best for the City and how to fund it. Mayor Gayle Kaler agreed with the concern about funding. Kaler said, “I think we have to look at our budget. In my opinion phasing in is the way to go, but how do we plan that out, and will it increase costs over time?” Kaler added, “What’s critical to me right now is the stability [of the existing building] and the safety issues.” Commissioner Wilson said, “It would be hard to walk away from this building unless it had a new owner who had a grander vision.”
- Public Information Meeting (March 21, 2016)
The City of Paducah invited the public to attend a meeting to provide input and learn about the two proposed schematic design options for the City Hall Project. The public meeting was held Monday, March 21 from 6:30 until 8 p.m. in the Commission Chambers on the second floor of City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street.
At the public meeting, representatives of RATIO Architects and the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group presented two design options for the City Hall Project: a rehabilitation approach and a new building approach. A three-dimensional model of the rehabilitation approach was available in addition to digital representations of both options. The public provided input by completing a comment card for the scenarios and providing feedback on how each option relates to a set of values.
In October 2015, the City contracted with RATIO Architects to provide design and architectural services for the project. RATIO, the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group (a citizens advisory group appointed in November 2015 by the Paducah Board of Commissioners), and city staff have been studying a dual pathway of options for either rehabilitating the existing structure at 300 South 5th Street or designing a new City Hall. Both design approaches have been created to meet a set of values and provide a modern workspace that will serve the City over the next 50 years.
- Contract with RATIO Architects (October 20, 2015)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved at the October 20, 2015 meeting an ordinance for a contract with RATIO Architects to provide design and architectural services in an amount not to exceed $1.622 million for the City Hall project. At the November 10, 2015 Commission meeting, Mayor Gayle Kaler named the six members appointed to the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group. The members are Joe Benberry, Fowler Black, Steve Ervin, Lindsey Maestri, Bill Renzulli, and Hall Sullivan. This group will work with RATIO Architects as they develop two schematic design options for City Hall. RATIO held its first meetings with the Advisory Group and various City staff November 17-18, 2015.
A request for qualifications for architectural and design services was issued in May 2015 with four proposals received by the May 26 deadline. The City Hall Advisory Committee interviewed all firms in July with RATIO as the recommended company. The advisory committee was comprised of City Commissioners Carol Gault and Allan Rhodes, City Manager Jeff Pederson, Planning Director Steve Ervin, PRDA Executive Director Steve Doolittle, and City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy.
RATIO will pursue a dual pathway by providing information for the rehabilitation of the existing facility and the construction of a new facility. RATIO will look at designing a facility that will include the departments currently in City Hall and the possible addition of the Information Technology Department. The scope does not include the addition of police or E911. RATIO will facilitate decision-making workshops and civic engagement and provide design schematics, 3D renderings, interior planning, landscape planning, cost estimates, code reviews, ADA accessibility reviews, and construction and bid documents. Regarding the option of a new building, three sites in the Civic Center Zone are being considered. The sites are the existing city hall location at 300 South 5th Street, Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza, and a site that straddles South 5th Street between the existing facility and Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza.
RATIO is partnering with the following local companies: Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren, Inc.; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering & Testing; and Marcum Engineering. RATIO expects to utilize approximately 20 weeks to complete the design phase and the development of the final option. Then, RATIO would need another approximately 20 weeks to prepare the construction documents, bid out the project, and initiate construction with construction to be completed in 2018. Visit www.ratiodesign.com for information about the company.
- Presentation by Paducah-McCracken County Growth, Inc. (May 12, 2015)
Sharon Poat representing Paducah-McCracken County Growth Inc., an organization that has been in existence since 1980 focusing on economic development and historic preservation, invited James Mason, Ph.D. P.E. to provide an analysis of the existing City Hall structure. Dr. Mason provided alternatives for retrofitting the canopy of City Hall and increasing the building’s seismic strength. Dr. Mason says, “There is a definite issue in the original design of this building.” He proposes adding reinforcing steel into all of the canopy’s beams and recommends using the company, The Structural Group, to perform the work. He says The Structural Group is the premier company for concrete reconstruction and has completed work on the White House. Regarding seismic strengthening, Dr. Mason recommends using a technology called base isolation which separates the base of the structure from the ground and places it on a flexible structure known as a base isolator. Buildings utilizing base isolators move little or not at all during an earthquake. Dr. Mason says the cost to strengthen the canopy would be $1.1 million with the cost to seismically strengthen the building at $2.21 million for a total cost of $3.31 million. Dr. Mason says these options would not change the exterior of the building and would not require the building to be vacated during work. Sharon Poat says, “This current proposal keeps so much of the building’s fabric intact.” Commissioner Richard Abraham says, “There’s a lot of history in this building. If we can make it more functional without tearing it down, now’s the time to look at that.” Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “This, I think, is something that we can consider.” The Paducah Board of Commissioners are interested in seeing a cost estimate utilizing these structural options in addition to the costs of system (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) and interior renovations. Also, at this time the City has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural services for the construction of a new City Hall. The deadline to submit the RFQ is May 26.
- City Hall Site Selection Review (March 17, 2015)
Planning Director Steve Ervin provided the Mayor and Commissioners with a site selection process developed to help make decisions regarding the City Hall project. At the November 18, 2014 City Commission meeting the elected officials approved a motion to proceed with preliminary design to construct a new city hall building in the Civic Center Zone which is the zone that includes and surrounds the existing facility. Ervin says, “Primarily all the dense land uses in the Civic Center Zone are government or quasi-government agencies.” A portion of the description of the Civic Center Zone states that the zone provides a separate and compact area for cultural and governmental services, gives the city more effective visual relationships in and around the downtown area, and provides in the design of the civic buildings and open spaces a physical point for urban aesthetics and civic pride.
Since the November meeting, the Planning Department developed a site selection process that involves scoring a site from one to nine regarding ten criteria. A score of one is Exceptional while a score of nine is Poor. The criteria are as follows: zoning, land area, visibility and prominence in the Civic Center Zone, parking availability, pedestrian availability, vehicular accessibility, impact on government services, construction costs, obstacles to proceed, and utility relocation. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “I think that the work done was representative of a pretty complete assessment of the government plaza, and I think the criteria were typical of what is considered in site selection.” Five sites were rated in the Civic Center Zone: the existing site, the city-owned parking lot at 5th and Clark, Dolly McNutt Plaza, the Post Office location, and a site that straddles 5th Street between the existing facility and Dolly McNutt. Ervin says the City directors met in February to score each site and come to a consensus. The existing site received the best score with a new city hall straddling 5th Street receiving the second best score and Dolly McNutt Plaza coming in a close third. The Mayor and Commissioners approved a motion to proceed with the development of a request for proposals for architectural and engineering services to design a new City Hall. The top three sites in the Civic Center Zone are all being considered. The selection of a site is not crucial at this point since the design and building footprint would be similar due to the close proximity of the three sites. The RFP process and the subsequent design process will take approximately a year. Looking ahead to the future and if the need arises for employees to vacate the existing building during construction, the City has identified the former social security building on the 400 block of South 7th Street, which currently is vacant, as a temporary location for City services.
- Future of Existing City Hall -Citizen Engagement Summary (November 18, 2014)
Public Information Officer Pam Spencer summarized the results from the citizen engagement process for the City Hall Project. From August through mid-September, the City requested public input through a designated Facebook page and email address regarding five values for the City Hall Project: image, customer experience, functional building & workspaces, sustainability, and siting impacts. A weekly news release focusing on a single value was issued during the six week engagement period. The City received a total of 103 comments from 80 different commenters. Spencer provided examples of some of the comments. One of the first decision points in the process of moving forward in the project is the decision whether to renovate the existing City Hall or pursue another option. Regarding the public comments, 64 people addressed that issue with 72 percent in favor of building a new city hall or renovating a different building. Only 28 percent were in favor of renovating the existing City Hall. Another decision point is location. Should city hall remain in the civic center zone which encompasses several blocks around the existing site and Dolly McNutt Plaza or should city hall be moved to another location such as along Broadway? At the end of the presentation and after much discussion by the City Commission and the City Manager, the City Commission approved a motion to proceed with preliminary design to construct a new city hall building in the civic center zone. A contract for design services and consultation will be brought before the Commission in the near future.
- Public Engagement Process and Project Values (August-September 2014)
During a six week period in August through September 2014, the City asked for citizens to provide their input about the five values for the project. Information was accepted by email cityhallprojectpaducahky.gov(link sends e-mail) or through a designated Facebook page Paducah City Hall Project Facebook page(link is external). A weekly news release was issued focusing on one value to continue the encouragement for the community to participate. The information was presented at the November 18, 2014, City Commission meeting.
- City Hall Project Values Workshop (August 5, 2014)
The City Commission and the department directors held a workshop to begin providing input regarding the City Hall Project. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “This is a huge undertaking, a huge decision, that should be done for and with the public.” Pederson adds, “We are very determined to get this process right for this project.” The group focused on providing thoughts on five project values: customer experience, functional building and work spaces, siting impacts, image, and sustainability. Today’s input process involved each member of the group rotating between five tables dedicated to one of the values. A ten-minute discussion period was allowed at each table with a staff member recording the comments and ideas. The input from the City Commission and directors will be combined with input from the public to develop guiding principles for the project which will help steer the work of the City Hall Working Group once it is organized.
The City solicited input through September 14, 2014, from the public regarding the City Hall Project and the five values by email and through a City Hall Project Facebook page.
Background: At their May 20, 2014, meeting, the Board heard a presentation about City Hall’s conditions from Baccus Oliver, a professional engineer with Marcum Engineering. Over the past few months, Marcum Engineering; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering; and Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren worked together to conduct an assessment of City Hall’s structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovation possibilities. The study shows that the 61,000 square foot building which opened in 1964 is showing significant deterioration in its concrete roof canopy and with many of its electrical and mechanical systems. To protect the safety of the employees and citizens, access to the building is limited to the 5th Street entrance. Also, barricades have been placed around the building limiting access under the concrete roof canopy which is deflecting or sagging nearly 9 inches at its corners.
- Recommendation of Working Group (June 3, 2014)
City Manager Jeff Pederson led the Mayor and Commissioners at their June 3, 2014 meeting through a discussion regarding the next steps in the process regarding the future of Paducah’s City Hall. Pederson showed flow charts outlining the interconnected concepts that need to be managed and addressed in this process. Pederson says, “It is not a simple process to go about a potential rebuild of City Hall or a new City Hall. It is a public building.” The large-scale decisions to be determined are either renovating the existing building and to what degree or determining a location and design for a new facility. Pederson recommends compiling a small group of staff and citizens to be known as the City Hall 2050 Working Group with the responsibility of working through the decision-making process and incorporating citizen engagement. Pederson says, “This process begs for inclusiveness, but at the same time, it needs guidance and to move forward.” Commissioner Sandra Wilson says, “It’s a large expenditure. We need the public’s input.” The 2050 in the group’s name refers to renovating or building a City Hall to last decades and to being ready for the future needs of the community. The group would make recommendations to the City Commission. Commissioner Richard Abraham adds, “It’s insightful to think ahead regarding technology. This process is appropriate to get citizen input. It’s City Hall. It’s a public building.” Pederson says, “It pays to think ahead intelligently, to not design a city hall for today but for the future.” The process involving the City Hall 2050 Working Group could take approximately six months once the members are named.
Background: At their May 20 meeting, the Board heard a presentation about City Hall’s conditions from Baccus Oliver, a professional engineer with Marcum Engineering. Over the past few months, Marcum Engineering; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering; and Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren have worked together to conduct an assessment of City Hall’s structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovation possibilities. The study shows that the 61,000 square foot building which opened in 1964 is showing significant deterioration in its concrete roof canopy and with many of its electrical and mechanical systems. The estimate, which includes a significant contingency figure, to completely renovate the building and bring it up to modern seismic standards is more than $15 million. To protect the safety of the employees and citizens, access to the building is limited to the 5th Street entrance. Also, barricades have been placed around the building limiting access under the concrete roof canopy which is deflecting or sagging nearly 9 inches at its corners.
- City Hall Conditional Assessment and Conceptual Plan (May 20, 2014)
At their May 20, 2014 City Commission meeting, the Mayor and Commissioners heard a presentation from Baccus Oliver, a professional engineer with Marcum Engineering, regarding the study conducted by Marcum Engineering; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering; and Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren Architects on City Hall. Over the past few months, the companies have worked together to conduct a needs assessment of the building’s structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovations. Specifically the study included an architectural spatial analysis, a structural analysis, mechanical and electrical assessments, and a conceptual cost estimate.
City Hall opened in 1964. However, in just 14 years, the building started showing structural issues regarding its massive concrete canopy which is sagging five to nearly 9 inches at each of its corners. In 1978 an engineering assessment indicated that the underside of the large roof canopy was showing deterioration. A 1979 study recommended replacing the roof. A 2010 study by Apex Engineering sited similar roof problems. In the building’s 50 year lifespan, there a have been improvements in the HVAC system and the elevator; however, very little has been done to the building structurally including its roof or to its interior. The building does not meet modern seismic standards since hose standards did not exist when the building was designed. One positive note is that City Hall is nearly 61,000 square feet in size which is more than enough space. The spatial analysis indicates that City Hall activities need a space for departments and storage that totals nearly 51,000 square feet in size.
The immediate recommendation is to restrict employee and visitor access under the canopy area. The analysis also recommends initiating the removal of the concrete roof canopy and replacing it with a lighter material. To remove the canopy, the building would have to be evacuated while the work took place. If the City wants to bring the facility up to seismic standards, it would involve reinforcing the structure by strengthening approximately 50 percent of the exterior walls and removing the floor to ceiling windows. A conceptual cost estimate and general timeline were provided. The cost for the demolition of the roof canopy, structural repair, and roof replacement including seismic upgrades totals more than $5 million. Renovating the interior including building layout and functionality, electrical and mechanical upgrades, contingency, and engineering costs would bring the total project to an estimated $15.6 million. The planning and design for the project could take 9 months with a construction time of 13 to 16 months. The City Commission would like to have general cost estimates for a new facility. City Manager Pederson asked the City Commission to forward their questions to him, and he will forward to the companies that conducted the analysis in an effort to gather as much information as possible before a decision is made. Pederson also says temporary City Hall locations are being researched.