Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 23, 2013

Ongoing construction projects in Kokomo

— • City Hall renovation

A face lift and renovation on the inside of City Hall continues. It’s the first makeover of City Hall in 29 years.

Colored panels, to be complemented later by a stainless steel decorative border, were previously applied to the red brick exterior of the building. New landscaping and tuck-pointing work will accompany the exterior’s new look.

City engineer Carey Stranahan said a new interior staircase will be installed as part of a transformation of the building’s central atrium and public meeting rooms.

The flooring and lighting in the council room will be changed, and the city clerk’s office will be moved into the council chamber, creating more room in the atrium, as well as space for a vestibule just outside the council room.

Mawr Design, which has an office in Kokomo, did the design work for both the interior and exterior projects. The city contracted Monroe Construction of Kokomo to do the work at a cost of $560,000 for the interior and $530,000 for the exterior for a total cost of $1.1 million. The project should be completed by early August.

In addition to the council chamber and the atrium staircase, the work also will include a glass exhibit case to replace the tinted windows which currently separate the Kokomo Police Department from the atrium, and a fountain in front of the building. City Hall is open during renovation, and all public meetings normally held in Louk’s conference room or council chambers are held at off-site locations through Aug. 12.

• Senior Housing Development

Miller Valentine Group, Cincinnati, is constructing a low- to moderate-income senior housing development at 400 N. Washington St. The $9-million project at the northeast corner of Washington and Taylor streets is nearly complete. The four-story apartment building will house people 55 years and older. Developers are planning to lease between 50 and 66 units at the development. Calls made to the Miller Valentine Group regarding the completion date were not returned.

• Kingston apartments

Mecca Companies, a Michigan City-based firm, is building a new apartment complex on the former Kingston Products site, 1423 N. Courtland Ave.

Construction of the $8.5 million, 68-unit Water Tower Place project is underway.

“It’s moving along just fine,” said Kyle Bach, with Mecca. “We’re a little behind schedule because of the spring rain, but we will have the first building done by August.”

Bach added the entire project is set to be complete by October.

• IUK Apartments

Mecca Companies is also pursuing an apartment complex on South Washington Street across from IUK.

The plans call for two buildings and a central clubhouse. The developers have also added a pool to the plans, Bach said.

“We’re still looking to break ground in August,” Bach said of the $7-million project. “We’re projecting a 10 to 12 month schedule on that.”

• Jackson Street Commons

The project called “Jackson Street Commons” at 322 E. Jackson St. will have 27 single-bed units, a community room, a large kitchen and office space for supporting services for homeless military veterans in Howard and surrounding counties.

In addition to providing critical housing needs, specific support services will also be made available.

Construction on a $3.3-million housing complex was expected to begin last year, but due to lack of funding and increased construction costs, the project was pushed back.

The project is being funded through fundraisers by area veterans organizations and federal “home funds,” said Judy Dennis, executive director of the Family Service Association of Howard County.

Kokomo’s VFW Post 1152, in coordination with the Family Service Association, began a one-year fundraising campaign in May to benefit the housing project. The groups will continue coordinating multiple fundraising events in support of this project throughout the year leading up to Military Appreciation Week in November.

Lee & Ryan, a veteran-owned business out of Indianapolis, will do the construction. Excavating on the property is set to begin Monday and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Dennis.