Pooler Municipal Complex
Hussey Gay Bell provided full architectural and engineering design services – including site planning, civil, structural and environmental engineering, architecture and interiors – for this $18.1 million project which consisted of the revitalization of the property bounded by Highway 80 and South Rogers and South Chestnut Streets in Pooler, Georgia.
The new 51,500 SF city hall building is three stories in height and incorporates many of the City’s departments: Pooler Police Department on the first, administrative offices on the second, and the city council chambers, city manager’s office and other executive functions on the third. The existing city hall was demolished to the north of the new facility upon completion, and the existing fire station housed on the existing site was converted to house a 6,350 SF municipal court building.
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 demolished with limited site access and parking during construction. The site also hosted a commercial property right in the center of the property – a Pizza Hut – that had to be acquired and demolished and there was an active and interruptible well house on-site that needed to be kept in operation at all times. Additionally, two new facilities were built concurrently on the site and associated parking was configured to provide adequate spaces 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 of Pooler 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.
Parking on the site and access were also major concerns of the City. Through numerous site planning and building orientation exercises between Hussey Gay Bell’s in-house engineers and architects, the team was able to squeeze enough spaces in to accommodate for all of the site’s uses. This required creativity in the site layout and required configuration around an existing city hall and associated parking, an operating well, an existing fire station, laydown and access areas.
This project is considered the first step towards the City’s plans to extend its revitalization efforts through the entire historic district, which is likely to include commercial and retail developments. The project was delivered via CMAR by Elkins Constructors, LLC and is a 2018 ACEC Georgia Engineering Excellence Awards Honor Award recipient.