Archive for Thursday, March 23, 2006

City Hall expansion progresses slowly

March 23, 2006

In the past, Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty heard the bustle of the Parks and Recreation Department outside her office door in the basement of Eudora City Hall.

Now, instead of the rustle of footsteps and equipment, Beatty hears the whine of power sanders and drills.

Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Bobby Arnold recently moved
into a new office from his former space in the basement of City
Hall. Arnold's new digs are part of an on-going City Hall expansion
project.

Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Bobby Arnold recently moved into a new office from his former space in the basement of City Hall. Arnold's new digs are part of an on-going City Hall expansion project.

The city has been moving ahead with an ongoing expansion for the last month.

"This expansion will make things more effective and take care of some of the space shortages we've had," Beatty said.

A general obligation bond was issued to finance the $450,000 project at the beginning of the year after the Eudora City Council gave its permission for the expansion in October.

The project included the purchase of two buildings adjoining the current City Hall at 4 East Seventh St., which formerly housed Blacktop Paving and Construction. The company moved its operation to De Soto.

"We're trying to deal with space issues, at least on a temporary basis," Beatty said.

The expansion could lead to further growth as Eudora gains size. Beatty said for now the city needed to become more accessible to the public.

The public works department, equipment storage and the city administrator will be centralized in one of the new buildings.

"It also ultimately gives each department more security," Beatty said.

Eventually, Beatty will move from the basement of City Hall into the central offices, but for now the building is still being prepared.

"It will be nice to get the public works in one space, one controlled space," Beatty said.

At the council's March 13 meeting, Beatty said the renovations were progressing slowly.

Although the project appears to be moving slowly on some fronts, Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Bobby Arnold has already moved into the new recreation offices at 14 East Seventh St.

"This has been wonderful, but we're just trying to get the word out to where we are now -- that's been the kicker on it," Arnold said.

The new space has come in handy, Arnold said.

"We are already almost overflowing with our equipment and everything. We're pretty much filling our garage already," Arnold said.

The new recreation offices include a meeting room, a lobby and a personal office for Arnold.

Beatty said the new space would allow Arnold to have room for a part-time receptionist to aid in office management.

If a new swimming and recreational complex passes a referendum in August, the parks and recreation offices will move again, Beatty said.

The City Hall basement will become a new courtroom and also serve as a larger meeting area for the council during executive session, Beatty said.

The current construction on the basement will also bring the room up to code for handicap accessibility and provide more room for document storage.

In addition, the city bought space to hold city equipment.

Before buying the outlying buildings, the city leased space for the trucks, mowers or other needed equipment.

Eventually the purchase of the building could be defrayed from the money saved by canceling the lease, Beatty said.

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