Reaction was positive from several individuals who viewed the proposed architectural plans for Minot’s new city hall Thursday.
The City of Minot and JLG Architects held an open house in the current city hall to give the public an opportunity to look at renderings and floor plans.
David Aas is employed by Northland PACE, a tenant in the former Wells Fargo building that is being converted to a city hall.
“They’re going to actually move our office from the third floor to the main floor, and I kind of like their plan because I think it will work,” he said. “I like the looks of the design. It looks like it will be very workable. I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing.”
Scott Burlingame, executive director with Independence, Inc., appreciates the accessibility being designed into the building, particularly with public restrooms on the main floor.
“There’s really not a lot of accessible bathrooms downtown,” he said. The ideal is to have public, accessible bathrooms in each block, but getting them at least in city hall is a good first step, he said.
“It will be up to the city afterwards to determine how exactly that’s used, but the key is to make sure that we get it in there while it’s being built, and then we can work out the details later,” said Burlingame, who expects the building’s design overall will accommodate people with disabilities well. “It has the potential to make a much more welcoming environment.”
Expecting a more expensive project, local builder Pat Kraft said the open house eased his concern about the project’s scope and cost.
“I think it’s fine,” he said.
Mark Roth, with Thomas Family Funeral Home, said it will be interesting to see how the city hall project shapes up and affects traffic but, overall, it looks positive.
“It creates a vision for us as neighbors that we see as a positive downtown,” he said.
The project has a $12 million to $13.8 million total budget. Estimates have indicated around $5 million to $7 million will be needed for remodeling, with construction to begin in about November. The city allocated $7.75 million in National Disaster Resilience Program dollars, from which the city council approved $2.6 million for building purchase.
The city plans to use all three levels of the building but an estimated 15% of the space will continue to be leased to tenants or will remain vacant for future expansion. Each floor has about 15,000 square feet.
The first floor would house Central Dispatch, information technology and mechanical and electrical rooms. The main lobby level would house finance, assessor and public information offices, along with utility billing. It would include council chambers, the mayor’s office, two offices for council members to meet with constituents, a council conference room and a meeting room. The third floor would have meeting rooms and house offices for city manager, clerk, attorney and human resources.