By Martin Slagter Kokomo Tribune
---- — The city of Kokomo is planning to begin the final stage of the city hall remodel in mid-April. The project will focus on the second and third floors of the building.
After completing a remodel of the exterior and first floor of the building in 2013, the offices on the second and third floor will be transformed to fit the same concept provided by Mawr Design, which completed design work the first two stages of the remodel.
The city is set to receive bids on the project at 10 a.m. March 19. Kokomo budgeted $500,000 for the project in its 2014 budget.
City Engineer Carey Stranahan said the project will replace the flooring on both floors and install lighting enhancements to replace some of the more inefficient lighting fixtures.
The remodeling also will provide more space for conference rooms, relocating a conference room in the Kokomo Police Department section of the second floor. A second conference room will be added on the third floor, where there is now a large space that had been used as a break room.
“That space is oversized for what it is used for now,” Stranahan said of the third floor room. “It was originally intended as a smoking room when the building opened, which it obviously isn’t being utilized for now. That [conference room] will be larger [than the second floor conference room].”
The project also will include wall demolition and covering, constructing new walls and installing cabinetry and counters. Renovation or replacement of the building’s two elevators will not be funded by the city hall remodel, but could be paid for separately, Stranahan said.
Since it was built in 1984, Kokomo city hall had not undergone major remodeling efforts until last year, when the building received a $1.1 million renovation on both the exterior and the first floor. The first two phases of the project were completed in September.
A staircase was added in the main lobby while new, more open Kokomo Common Council chambers were constructed along with updated flooring and wall decorations. Outside, the building was given a facelift and visitors are greeted by a new fountain and sculpture.
Once construction starts on the final phase of the project, it will take three or four months to complete, Stranahan said.
“One of the challenges with interior renovations is that the building is being occupied, so we’re going to spend a lot of time moving things around,” he said.
The Board of Public Works and Safety also approved the procurement for “one or more” 2012 or newer 12 passenger shuttle buses for its Spirit of Kokomo fleet. The fleet lost six of its buses in January in a fire at the city’s bus barn.
Martin Slagter can be reached at 765-454-8570, email@example.com or on Twitter @slagterm.