Common Pleas Courthouse to become Cape Girardeau City Hall with $12M renovation

Common Pleas Courthouse to become Cape Girardeau City Hall with $12M renovation
Moving City Hall will save the Common Pleas landmark, according to city officials. (Source: City of Cape Girardeau)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Another step has been taken to move the Cape Girardeau City Hall to the Common Pleas Courthouse.

During the Feb. 17 City Council meeting, the council voted to accept a Quit Claim Deed from Cape Girardeau County for the Common Pleas Courthouse property.

A Quit Claim Deed is a way to transfer property from to another.

The courthouse is an iconic property that overlooks the Mississippi River and currently home to the Common Pleas Court.

Soon, court hearings will be moving to the new courthouse in Jackson.

Mayor Bob Fox said it is “Your building. City Hall in the future will be something.”

Architects are already working on plans for the 12-million-dollar renovation of the building as a new location for the Cape Girardeau City Hall.

This is the original City Hall location, according to officials with the city.

After research, proposals and interviews, the city staff recommended Penzel Construction Company Inc. and architecture firm TreanorHL to work on the $12 million project. Included in the $12 million is $6 million in matching casino funding.

At a City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 5, the deal to work with Penzel Construction was approved.

The company has worked with the city before on the Cape Girardeau SportsPlex and Fire Station 4.

City officials said no design has been finalized for the renovation. However, Assistant City Manager Molly Mehner said Penzel Construction had the most innovative ideas for the building and parking structure.

The company’s designs would also save the city money.

Around one year ago, the price tag to tear down and rebuild City Hall was $20 million.

This would all take place while the Common Pleas Courthouse at Ivers Square would be empty and in need of repair.

The Capital Improvement Sales Tax, approved by voters in August of 2019, allows this City Hall and Common Pleas project to take place.

City officials said Common Pleas has been at the center of Cape Girardeau civic life for 165 years.

Moving City Hall will save this landmark, according to city officials.

The next step is to hold a design workshop to get a glimpse at what the structures could look like.

The future City Hall, at Common Pleas, will be renovated, ADA accessible and secure.

City officials said customer service agents will be moved to other public offices across Cape Girardeau. This will free up space at Common Pleas and give customers city-wide options.

The City received proposals from FGMArchitects andRiver City Construction, Kiefner Bros. Inc and Chiodini Architects as well as Penzel and TreanorHL.

City officials expect to be cleared of the County/Court business in Common Please by May 2020.

Construction could begin as early as Summer 2020 with completion expected by September 2021.

A new owner and an alternative use will also need to be found for the current City Hall, Old Lorimier School.

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