It seems like every time you look up, there is construction going on in the Rocket City. And Monday afternoon, another project was added to the long list of new buildings on the horizon for Huntsville.
The City of Huntsville hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate construction of its new $90 million municipal complex. The seven-story building and parking garage is being built on a 1.8-acre site across the street from the present City Hall on Fountain Circle.
Huntsville’s new municipal building will be more than twice the size of the current City Hall
The new municipal building will accommodate the exponential growth in Huntsville’s population and subsequent demand for more city services. Hville Blast’s Emily Phillips wrote about the particulars of the new building back in January.
The new facility will provide 175,000 square feet of administrative space to be occupied by about 370 employees. However, it will also accommodate future growth. The exterior will be a precast veneer engineered to look like limestone but be less expensive and more durable over time. The overall look of the building will be influenced by adjacent architecture.
“The new municipal building will be 2 ½ times larger than our present City Hall. When it opens in about two years, we will finally be able to bring departments back together under one roof. It will allow us to work more efficiently, make offices more convenient for residents to access and will be a far better use of taxpayer dollars.”Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle
Turner Construction began prepping the site to go vertical in February. The company’s first task was to demolish the old municipal parking deck, a project Turner had built for the City in the 1960s.
Adjoining the new City Hall will be a seven-floor, 195,000-square-foot parking deck. There will be 568 spaces in the attached garage with some spaces designated for public use.
City Administrator John Hamilton said there are many reasons why a new City Hall is necessary, but the primary one, he said, is a better and more efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Because of limited space, some departments operate out of leased buildings elsewhere.
Plans will include an expansion of Big Spring Park
Mayor Tommy Battle said his administrative team has started working on ideas on how to shape the new addition to Big Spring Park. There will be ample public input opportunities for residents to offer their thoughts and ideas on the park plan.
Once the new City Hall opens, the current municipal building will be demolished. Battle announced Monday he is recommending to City Council the site become part of Big Spring Park.
“With the growth we’re experiencing downtown, we need more places to play. This property will allow us to expand Big Spring Park and provide more public space for everyone to enjoy.”Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle