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Springfield’s renovated Historic City Hall expected to reopen in 2026

 Springfield's Historic City Hall on January 26, 2023 after snowfall the day before. After City Council approved federal funding to renovate the building, it voted to use a "construction management at risk" model to select a construction manager. CMAR is intended to yield better and cheaper end results.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Springfield's Historic City Hall on January 26, 2023 after snowfall the day before. After City Council approved federal funding to renovate the building, it voted to use a "construction management at risk" model to select a construction manager. CMAR is intended to yield better and cheaper end results.

On Tuesday City Council got its first major progress update on a $16.5 million renovation job for the building at Chestnut Expressway and Boonville Avenue.

The 130-year-old building was a former federal post office and customs house that the city took over in 1938. Renovations began last fall.

The job is expected to cost $16.5 million. At least $4 million of that total comes from federal coronavirus funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, and Council is considering additional ARPA money for the renovated building.

Construction is expected to start in summer 2024 and finish up sometime during the first three months of 2026.

Changes to the building include greater disability access, a new elevator, many new restrooms and more flexible office spaces for city departments including the mayor’s office.

The City Council chamber will be made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a wooden loading dock on the east side of the building will be replaced with a big new public entrance leading to a lobby that could double as a space for community events or news conferences.

New windows, roof, heating, water, electrical, information and security systems are all part of the plan.

"These are not problems," said Steve Telscher with Springfield-based Sapp Design Architects. "These are hidden gems in that building that most of the people in this room and most of the community of Springfield have probably never seen these views right here.”

Telscher told Council his firm is working to preserve historic aspects of the city hall interior and exterior, like vintage crown molding and ornate column capitals that got covered up by past renovations.

Designers are also following the city’s green building policy by aiming for LEED Silver sustainability certification — a goal they may only be partially able to satisfy due to the historic nature of the structure, Telscher told Council.

Until City Hall reopens to the public, Monday-night City Council meetings are being held at the Regional Police-Fire Training Center off West Battlefield.

Copyright 2024 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Gregory Holman