Two months ago, Desert Hot Springs has finally started the process of creating a new City Hall down the street from our current facilities, around what formerly was the visitor’s center.
We are looking forward to this project creating a more welcoming environment for businesses and residents that interact with the city as well as freeing up the Carl May Center, where council meetings are currently held, to allow the public library to expand.
Maintenance costs had increased year over year and the cost of completely replacing the existing city hall complex with the same structures would cost over $1 million, so this move is more economically feasible to rent temporary trailers and put funds toward construction of a new complex.
We will be utilizing the current building, as well as the empty land to the north of it, both of which are already owned by the city. The project cost is estimated at between $4.7 and $6 million depending on the length of construction.
The city has $2 million of unallocated funds from the previous fiscal year’s budget surplus to cover the remaining costs of the project.
The plans for the center currently lay out a new 9,460 square foot facility to be used for administrative services as well as well as the community development department, a 2,710 square foot space will house the council chambers, and the current building will be adapted to house the offices of the city manager, city clerk, city attorney and council members.
Plans also show an optional outdoor amphitheater and additional parking.
Phase one of the process is projected to take a year. The second phase, construction, is also projected to talk a year, putting the completion date for the new city hall somewhere in 2019.
However, the city manager, Mayor and our city council offices could be opened as early as two weeks from now.