PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - The Paducah City Commission held a meeting on Tuesday, May 20.
At the meeting, the mayor and commissioners heard a presentation from engineer Baccus Oliver about a study conducted on City Hall.
Over the past few months, several 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.
"Fifty years is typically a design life for a public building," said City Manager Jeff Pederson. "It's been well used and well maintained, but it's certainly showing the effects of 50 years of use."
City Hall was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone in 1962 to 1963. 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 almost 9 inches at each of its corners.
A 2010 study by Apex Engineering sited similar roof problems.
In the building's 50 year lifespan, there 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.
"Really you have avoided a major capital improvement, a major overhaul or rehabilitation, of the facility," Baccus Olliver said. "It should not be understated how well the city has done to make the building last 50 years. You have been good stewards of the building."
Oliver went on to say the building doesn't meet modern seismic standards. He said those standards did not exist when the building was designed.
According to the city, a positive note is that City Hall is nearly 61,000 square feet, 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.
The City said 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 about 50 percent of the exterior walls and removing the floor to ceiling windows.
A conceptual cost estimate and general timeline were provided in the meeting.
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 nine 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 any questions to him in an effort to gather as much information as possible before a decision is made. He also said temporary City Hall locations are being researched.
Also at they City Commission meeting, they approved ordinances for reimbursement agreements between the City and Paducah Power System and between the City and the Joint Sewer Agency for utility work related to the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project.
The electric utility work is estimated to cost $225,000, while the sewer relocation work is estimated to cost $304,240.
The property acquisition and utility relocations are funded using $2 million allocated from the state.
"The utility relocations are getting underway," said City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy. "Paducah Power already has pole locations marked."