A Regional Symbol in the Trend Towards New Urbanism
While the very nature of this project implies creativity in and adhere to neoclassical architectural design, from multiple parcels and PIN numbers, underground storage tanks, utility conflicts, an occupied site and limited access and parking to siting a critical facility around contaminated soils, this project literally had it all.
The site itself offered its own site planning challenges. It was a very tight, 5.65-acre site that had to accommodate for the interruptible operations of the existing city hall which would later be demoed with limited site access and parking during construction; the site hosted a commercial property in the very center of the property that had to be acquired and demoed; there was an active and interruptible well house on-site that needed to be keep in operation at all times, all the while two new facilities would be built concurrently on the site and associated parking was configured to provide adequate spaces for two facilities for the public, temporarily for construction workers and permanently secured parking for the police, court and fire staff. The site required extensive logistical planning by Hussey Gay Bell’s civil engineering team to accommodate for all of these needs and appropriate circulation. Through various charrettes and planning sessions with City staff, the civil engineers were ultimately able to site the City Hall as close to the center of the site as possible without disrupting the existing city hall’s operations and avoiding contaminated soils.
Working in tandem with the City and the firm’s in-house civil engineers, Hussey Gay Bell’s architects designed a new 51,500 square foot classical structure featuring the police department located on the ground floor, basic city services and community spaces on the second floor, and council chamber and executive offices on the third floor including 30% shell space for future growth. The site’s aging fire station was also repurposed and expanded into a 6,350 square foot municipal court building with secure access for the judge and prisoners.
In the end, this project culminated in the delivery of a previously environmentally-contaminated into a site renewed by infrastructure improvements, greenspace and pedestrian facilities and a building designed and constructed to last the next 100 years and is considered the first step in the City’s plans to extend revitalization efforts throughout the new Main Street Overlay District. The project is a 2018 ACEC Georgia Engineering Excellence Awards State Honor Award recipient.