BOUNTIFUL -- City officials took a swing at a new City Hall this week, taking sledgehammers to the old Bountiful/Davis Arts Center as part of preliminary steps to build a new City Hall.
Mayor Joe Johnson and four members of the city council took hammers to the arts center to begin razing of the structure. Once the building is demolished, construction of the new municipal structure can begin near Main Street.
The old arts center is expected to come down quickly, but City Engineer Paul Rowland estimates it will take a week and a half to clean the site before construction can begin on the municipal building. Construction for the new facility is expected to take 14 months.
The existing City Hall building, east of where officials initiated demolition, will be renovated as the future home for the arts center and a new regional museum, once the new municipal building is completed.
The construction package has been estimated at $7.2 million, with $2.4 million of RDA funds targeted for renovation of the existing City Hall and approximately $4.8 million coming from capital reserve funds for the new City Hall. Officials have stressed that the projects will not require a tax increase.
Emma Dugal, director of the arts center, was among the crowd that witnessed the start of demolition. She said the temporary relocation of the arts center to the old Farmington courthouse worked out well for the organization.
"We're loving it," she said.
The genesis of the project dates back to a meeting in 2012 when Councilman Richard Higginson wondered out loud why the city was contemplating putting good money into an old structure. That spawned a series of moves in which the council scrapped plans to build a wing onto the old structure for a regional museum and then developed construction plans.