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Three options for City Hall, library presented

Decision will be months in coming

Dec. 19, 2012

Oak Creek - The city is starting to get a glimpse of what its future City Hall and library will look like.

Bray Architects representative Steve Kuhnen offered three conceptual plans for the board to review.

Each calls for City Hall and the library to be two-story buildings and to be connected in some way. All plans also feature a small, manmade creek running south from the middle of the complex and a large tower - either a clock tower or a radio tower - to the north.

The square footage varies slightly from plan to plan, but Kuhnen projects City Hall will be roughly 20,000 to 25,000 square feet and the library will be between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet. The current City Hall is 18,000 square feet and the library is 14,000 square feet.

"We looked at the city building as three entities: a library, City Hall and some shared space. The concepts we're looking at show those three entities," he said.

The first plan shows the buildings set at a roughly 45-degree angle to each other and connected by a second-story pedestrian bridge.

The second would have both buildings meet at a 90-degree angle with potential for enclosed common areas in the middle.

The third plan is a hybrid of the first and second. It shows the buildings meeting at a 45-degree angle with having common areas, most likely enclosed by a large glassed-in area, in the middle. The Common Council meeting room would be in that shared area.

Each plan will be reviewed and opened to public discussion over the next few months. At this point, there is no deadline for making a decision about the project.

The city has had some setbacks with moving forward on Drexel Town Square, the development where the new City Hall and library would be located. Officials planned to bid out the construction work, City Administer Gerald Peterson said, but has been delayed by the need to further research issues related to the foundations and footings. The city needs the information so it knows what to expect the cost of a construction contract to be.

"We're in the concept stage, and we're always getting feedback from the council and community. There's always a balance on these types of buildings," he said.

Drexel Town Square is the proposed redevelopment of the former Delphi site. The 85-acre square will not only include a new library and city hall, but has space set aside for retail and public use. A new fire station will also be put in the site, but plans weren't discussed as to the building's design.

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