Most home and business owners wouldn’t go almost 30 years without doing some remodeling, but municipal buildings aren’t often spotlighted for spending.
Since it was built in 1984, Kokomo city hall had undergone no major remodeling efforts until this year.
With Monday’s dedication of the Stephen J. Daily Government Center, the first phase of giving city hall a new look has been completed.
Inside, there’s a staircase in the main lobby; new, more open Kokomo Common Council chambers; and updated flooring and wall decorations. Outside, the building has been given a facelift and visitors are greeted by a new fountain and sculpture.
The first phase cost an estimated $1.3 million.
Mayor Greg Goodnight has budgeted $500,000 to spend in 2014 remodeling the second and third floors and replacing the two elevators.
“I talked about the remodeling in my ‘State of the City’ speech in 2012,” Goodnight said. “The problem is the building is almost 30 years old and had not really received any upgrades over that time.”
Curtains in the mayor’s third floor office and most of the furniture are original to the building.
“We started with the outside and the council chambers,” Goodnight said. “We wanted to fix up the public spaces.
“Most people see the outside of city hall, visitors, guests to the city and people who don’t come into the offices,” he said. “We wanted to make the outside looked nice.”
People from all over the world have visited city hall, Goodnight said, and many public meetings and events take place in the council chambers.
Gone are the solid wood doors that closed off the council chambers.
“We wanted to put in glass doors,” Goodnight said. “It shows a little more transparency. Make sure people could see what was taking place.”
The office of the city clerk was relocated to an area directly off the council chambers.