BOUNTIFUL -- Plans to build a new city hall took a major step forward after the city council voted unanimously in a special session to choose an architect for the project.
Officials hope to be in a position to break ground for the project in early 2013.
City officials held an afternoon meeting to hear presentations from three architectural firms before selecting Pasker, Gould, Ames & Weaver of Murray. The firm did design work for a fire station for the old Bountiful Fire Department.
The firm was selected by a 3-1 vote. Councilman Marc Knight cast the lone negative vote, citing his preference for a different company. Fifteen firms submitted bids for the project, and a steering committee selected the final three.
The architects will work with Hogan Construction, of Centerville, who will be the project's construction manager. Hogan was the construction manager for the proposed regional museum, which was shelved when city officials opted to change the plans, which had involved building onto the existing Davis County Arts Center earlier this year.
Officials cited the local connections of PGAW and their team as one of the major criteria in choosing the firm.
The city has projected breaking ground as early as January 2013. The new city hall project will involve razing the existing arts center and renovating the current city hall as the future home for the arts center and a regional museum.
The construction package for all the projects has been estimated at $7.2 million, with $2.4 million of RDA funds targeted for renovation of the existing hall and approximately $4.8 million coming from capital reserve funds for the new city hall. Officials have stressed the projects will not require a tax increase.
"I'm excited to finally be at this point. City hall will be a statement. Hopefully, it will stand for 50 to 75 years," City Engineer Paul Rowland said.
Even without specific design plans, city leaders have projected the new city hall facility to offer approximately 30,000 square feet of space. The current city hall building has approximately 32,000 square feet.
Besides specific plans for a new city hall, city leaders addressed demolition of the existing arts center, relocation of a log cabin to the south of the arts center on the same campus and relocation of the arts center staff and programming for the interim period between the building's demolition and the remodel of the existing city hall.
Details for the project are coming just months after officials were expected to break ground for a new regional museum, which would have been added to the existing Davis Arts Center.
However, officials found they had grossly underestimated the costs to bring the arts center building up to date. They were also not fond of putting a new museum as a wing onto an old building. The arts center was built in 1962 and the existing city hall was built in 1977.
Councilman Fred Moss was the only council member who missed the meeting. He has gone on record as saying he cannot justify spending the money in the current economy.