Construction of Bountiful’s new city hall started with the ground breaking ceremony and demolition of the Bountiful/Davis Art Center building Tuesday, but construction won’t start in earnest until March or April, said city engineer Paul Rowland.
The main design of the building has been completed, particularly the way it will look from the outside, but details such as exactly how offices will be laid out are still being discussed.
The architecture of the building will be in what Rowland called “arts and crafts” style with a pitched roof on one side.
City leaders chose not to build a modern-style building with the hope of properly reflecting the city. Nevertheless, they plan to make the building as efficient and up-to-date technologically as possible.
Under the pitched roof will be built a new council chambers.
The section will include a large foyer that elected officials hope will act as a gathering place for residents.
On the other side of the building, two floors of offices and a basement will be built.
The decision to add a full basement came late in the process.
“The soil is a little bit lacking and so rather than dig a big hole and remove the poor soil and fill it back in with good soil, we decided to put a basement under the thing,” Rowland said. “We’ve got to dig a whole anyway.”
The extra expense will be paid with funds that had been earmarked for soils mitigation.
City leaders hope the new building will be like a bookend for Main Street. The T-shaped intersection at 400 North would be the other.
In addition to the new construction, they plan to add a grassy seating area on a hill facing the street.
“We anticipate a lot of parade-watching seating in that area,” Rowland said. “The topic of the Handcart Days Parade has come up a lot with this. That’s funny because that’s the biggest event that happens on Main Street.”
From setting a budget to choosing an architect, elected officials have been involved every step of the way.
“The council’s been pretty involved formally and informally, just asking what it’s looking like, and they’re pretty pleased with the way it’s turned out,” said Rowland. “I think the city will be too.”