September 19, 2016
The City contracted with ORW Architecture to evaluate the space needs of City Hall and to identify solutions to accommodate anticipated growth. Three locations were considered for a new or expanded City Hall: the current location across from the Plaza, the Community Development Building on Winburn Way, and the public parking lot at the corner of Lithia Way and Pioneer Street.
ORW has completed the space needs analysis and presented its preliminary report to the community at an Open House on September 15. The report identifies five possible solutions to address the space needs for City Hall. Click here to view the presentation.
In addition, the community was invited to identify priorities for a new or remodeled City Hall prior to developing a recommendation for the City Council. ORW will present its final report to the City Council on Monday, October 17 at 5:30 in the Siskiyou Room at 51 Winburn Way.
The City has been discussing the reconstruction or relocation of City Hall for more than 20 years. The building is seismically vulnerable, lacks meeting space and has no room for growth. However, it is the earthquake vulnerability of the building that presents the most pressing problem. The interior of City Hall has been reconfigured a number of times since 1913 but has never had any structural improvements related to seismic mitigation.
This fall, Ashland City Council will consider moving forward with rebuilding City Hall or relocating and building a new City Hall.
A seismic evaluation of City Hall was conducted in 1994 (click here to read the 1994 report) and again earlier this year by Miller Engineering (click here to read the recent report). The current City Hall is vulnerable to earthquake activity. City Hall will be designed to comply with current structural codes to safeguard staff and the public. The intent is to withstand a major earthquake long enough for people to get out of the building.
At the Councilís February 1, 2016, study session, staff provided the findings of the 2015 seismic evaluation of City Hall, directed by Council as part of a greater effort to conduct a comprehensive examination of options for replacing City Hall. The report identified seismic deficiencies in the structure, and described the upgrades necessary to bring City Hall into compliance with applicable seismic provisions in the Oregon Structural Specialty Code.
The presentation was supplemented by cost estimates of the seismic upgrades, as well as preliminary cost estimates for two new construction alternatives, either of which would be more economical than performing an upgrade on the existing structure. Details are provided in the above linked Council communications from the February 1, 2016, study session. The cost estimates that emerged from the seismic evaluation marshaled the next logical phase in the City Hall replacement effort, the evaluation of replacement options.