RESA to purchase old city hall building
By Jim Bloch
The old Marysville City Hall at 1111 Delaware will close on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and the new Marysville City Hall just down the street at 1255 Delaware will open for business at 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 2.
The city’s department of the public works and technicians from the Regional Education Service Agency will move the furniture and information technology systems from the old building to the new building over the Thanksgiving holiday; RESA manages the city’s IT services.
The old building will not sit empty.
RESA has been renting the 7,500 square foot second floor for about a year and will now be purchasing the entire building in a lease-to-buy agreement with the city. The building will house RESA’s early childhood development programs.
The RESA board approved the $450,000 purchase in October. The agency will give the city $236,000 in cash and make 24 payments of $6,666.67, totaling $160,000. The city has already collected $54,000 in rent.
Somewhat ironically, a half-century ago, RESA was the original owner of the building, said Fernandez.
The handsome new city hall features an oversized lobby intended to serve as the city’s historical museum; the museum building, itself a former city hall, sits on the south side of Marysville Park and has been closed for a number of years.
The most dramatic item in the lobby at the moment is a black five-passenger 1924 Wills Sainte Claire automobile, model B-68, with a dual overhead cam V-8 engine, body by Witham of Amesbury, MA and weighing in at 3,520 pounds. The car, which was manufactured in the city, did not cost much more than a dollar per pound when it rolled off the assembly line. Three magazine advertisements for Wills Ste. Claire vehicles are framed on the wall. The firm’s logo, a Canada goose in flight, appears as the hood ornament of the car, and three others are on display.
A small display depicts the role of the Morton Salt Company in city history with its big plant on the banks of the St. Clair River.
Another display suggests the loud, proud history of the city’s sports teams and its marching band.
A number of models of well known ships sit in a storage room awaiting display.
The building came in slightly under its $2.1 million budget, said City Manager Randy Fernandez.
“Our emphasis has been on economy,” said Fernandez. “This is a no thrills building. Most of the landscaping we already had.”
The council chambers in the northeast corner of the building features a raised platform on which council members will sit, flanked by 72-inch TVs that will allow the audience to view special presentations. Four iPads will be built into the surface of the council table and shared by the members to watch presentations. Four big acoustical tiles hang over the audience, designed to dampen the sound. All of the audience chairs come from the old building and have been reupholstered.
“The only furniture we’re buying new is the table in the conference room and a dozen chairs,” said Fernandez.
Special meetings such as goal setting and budgeting sessions will be held in the conference room in the northwest corner of the building.
“The table is like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Fernandez.
It can be reconfigured to fit gathering of four to 12 people.
The offices and cubicles of city administrators and staff fill out the south side of the building.
All of the desks, chairs, filing cabinets and miscellaneous office equipment will be coming over from the old building.
At 8,000 square feet, the new building is about half the size of the old building.
“I tip my hat to DPW director Barry Kreiner, architect Bill Vogan and construction manager Gary Beam for bringing the building in on time and under budget,” said Fernandez.
Jim Bloch is an award-winning freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. He writes about the environment, local politics, art, music, history and culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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