At the special workshop session of the Henderson City Council on Monday night, City Engineer Frank Frazier unveiled a proposed floor plan for the new city hall.
The newest incarnation of city hall will be in the building on Rose Avenue formerly occupied by the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library.
According to interim City Manager Ed Wyatt, Frazier will supervise the relocation and construction of the new city hall.
Frazier said that there was a “team approach” to getting a layout that will serve citizens well.
The plans were drawn by the Raleigh firm HagerSmith.
One of the features that Frazier pointed out is that the new facility will have a council conference room off of the council chambers so that closed sessions may be held without displacing the public.
The new council chambers are to be slightly larger in area than the current room used by the council.
The new city hall will also sport a billing payment area of 347 square feet.
Frazier noted a desire for the space to be “open and friendly”.
The city engineer said that although offices will be smaller, each area will have a file storage room which will preclude offices from needing space for large numbers of filing cabinets. He said that more documents will be managed off-site or handled electronically.
There will be a total of three bathrooms, plus another facility adjoining the council conference room.
When asked by council member Mike Inscoe if there would be room for growth in the building, Frazier replied that there would not.
Member Mike Rainey asked if there would be a place for customers to discuss their [water] bills. Frazier stated there would be space for someone in a customer relations role.
Council member Mary Emma Evans asked how much was saved by using cubicles versus offices. Frazier said that he was not sure that the savings is significant. He said that the workstations cost $3,000 each.
Evans expressed a concern about privacy in the building. She said that she had seen former department heads, former managers, and former council persons come into city hall.
Evans said that any “private citizen” could come in and look around.
Frazier said that he had taken people to the Henderson Police Department to view the layout and address concerns about privacy. He added that sensitive conversations could be held in the conference rooms.
Wyatt agreed that people should not be able to make their way through different offices.
Inscoe commended Frazier for his work and suggested that he proceed “post haste”.
Henderson Mayor Pete O’Geary said that he believes “we are on the right road”.