City hall plans

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Designers revised the conceptual site plan for a renovated city hall, with input from the Historic District Commission (HDC).
The new plan includes a driveway and 20-space parking lot to the south of the building. People going to city hall could park in the new lot instead of the existing Depot Park lot and enter the building without crossing in front of the DPW garage doors, said City Manager Jonathan Smith at Monday’s meeting of the Clarkston Planning Commission, which reviewed the plans.
A proposed cupula atop the building was also revised into a clock tower.
“HDC felt a cupula was not functional for a city building – it’s for a barn. On a city office building, it makes no sense at all,” Smith said. “People are in the park all the time wondering what time it is. This is a functional replacement for the cupula.”
Revisions also include increased emphasis on the pedestrian entrance, and moving the “Artemus M. Pappas Village Hall” sign from the north side to the front, “where it should be,” Smith said.
The plan includes a new double-bay, 32-foot, 10 3/4-inch-by-27-foot, 5 3/8-inch garage. An existing garage bay would be converted into a 34-foot, 11-inch-by-19-foot, 5 1/4-inch meeting room, about twice the size of the existing meeting space with high windows in the back to bring in daylight.
A new 9-foot, 5 1/4-inch-by-44-foot addition on the north side would be used for DPW office and storage space.
“We would gain a lot of DPW storage space to allow us to bring equipment home from the Baylis building on M15,” Smith said. “Is it ideal? No. We think it’s the best we can do with the site we have to work with.”
The entrance hallway would lead to two restrooms, secured office counter, and a buzz-in door into the general office, all at the same level with no steps or ramps.
The goal would be to break ground in April and have the exterior work done by September, Smith said.
As a “community project,” the city will seek donations and in-kind contributions of supplies, labor, and building services. Clarkston Community Schools construction and trades students would provide labor during the summer, from June to September.
The $300,000 project, which would also include a new roof and back wall, siding, and paint, would be funded though a loan from the city water and sewer fund, at one percent interest.
A commercial loan would have 4-5 percent interest. Previous proposals came in at $500,000-$700,000, he said.
HDC scheduled a special meeting on Feb. 19 to address the plan. Final construction drawings could be completed in about a month, the city manager said.