It’s coming together very nicely.
That’s how Steve Worley, Spokane Valley senior engineer and the one in charge of the construction of the Valley’s new city hall, summarized the progress last week as he showed off the chilly construction site.
The new city hall is on the corner of East Sprague Avenue and Dartmouth Road – right in front of the old U-City Mall – and it’s beginning to look like a building.
The cold weather hasn’t slowed the project down, though certain parts of construction have to wait.
“We can’t lay brick and we can’t bring in drywall when the temperature is this low,” Worley said.
Instead crews were working on wiring and plumbing, rigging together the innards of the building.
Construction of a city hall has been on and off the agenda since Spokane Valley incorporated in 2003, all the while the city leased space in a nondescript building near Sprague Avenue and Pines Road.
Over the years, many locations were considered, as were empty buildings – that all turned out to either be too small or too expensive to remodel – before the city council last year approved building in this spot.
Groundbreaking was in June and now construction is nearly halfway, as the new building is expected to be ready in September.
The project was initially priced at $14.4 million, but bids came in lower and financing was more favorable than expected, so it’s financed by $6.3 million in cash and a 30-year, $7.8 million bond for a total of $14.1 million.
Architects West holds the $1 million contract for design and construction services. And Meridian landed the $8.97 million construction contract.
Worley said the building contains the newest materials and technology so it will be efficient for many years to come.
“For instance, the HVAC system is top of the line, allowing for individual temperature control,” Worley said.
The building features an open lobby and an updated City Council meeting chamber and efficiently designed office spaces, created in collaboration with the various city departments.
Large windows will let in a lot of daylight. Broad staircases are designed to be inviting, hopefully encouraging people to use them more, Worley said.
A side benefit from the large windows is the sweeping views of Tower Mountain and the foothills at Liberty Lake.
But that’s not the best part of the project.
“The best part is that we can build our own building for what we pay in rent right now,” Worley said. “That’s the best part.”