It has been a long journey, but the end is in sight for the renovations at Elizabethtownw City Hall.
The $1.9 million renovations on the building began in October, and included new HVAC systems, LED lights throughout the building, repairing water leaks in the basement and first floor, brick and window header repairs on the exterior of the structure, camera and security systems, minor floor plan changes on the first and third floors to help with flow and security, new paint and carpet and signage to help residents when visiting the building.
The mayor and other staff were all displaced from their offices for part of the renovation project. Since October, city council has been meeting at the Elizabethtown Police Department.
Finance Director Jeff Hawkins and his crew were located in the conference room on the third floor for about six months.
“Going through it has been a challenge for everybody, but I think everybody likes the end results,” he said, noting City Hall has needed the updates for a long time.
Hawkins said there were a lot of issues, such as carpet coming up, paint peeling and ceiling leaks, and it’s nice to be able to come to work in what feels like a new office.
“I think all the employees have been very patient. The public has been very patient, especially with a lot of the offices downstairs. It’s been a long journey,” he said.
Planning and Development Director Jim Shaw said the renovations are a definite improvement.
“Our area was just showing its age. The carpet was worn, actually coming apart in places, the walls were getting dirty and scratched, so it looks a lot nicer. It looks more professional,” he said.
In the planning department area, Shaw said a space in the wall was cut for the permit clerk, so now people who come in for a permit can stay on the opposite side of the counter of the staff.
Shaw’s office also was moved, placing him in closer proximity to the planner. Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Camp, who has worked for the city for 20 years, was placed in Shaw’s old office. Camp’s previous office was in the basement where he was located for 17 years.
“I like being up here because this is the area where most of the contractors come in to get their permits,” he said. “In the past, if I was needed, they would have to come down stairs and say can you come up here. Having me positioned here, I am a lot more accessible for the staff and I am a lot more accessible for the people that need some assistance.”
Camp said city hall looks significantly nicer after renovations.
“It makes you feel better when you come to work and have a nice place to come to work. It makes you feel better about your job,” he said.
Elizabethtown City Clerk Jessica Graham said, “The updated space is very welcoming now to, I feel, to our citizens and our public.”
Renovations nearly are complete with contractors working on punch list items, said Amy Inman, executive assistant to Mayor Jeff Gregory.
The last major renovation of the building was in 1994.
• In other city news, a ribbon cutting for the Edna B. Berger Park Office at Freeman Lake Park is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 4.