There are only so many upgrades that can be done to an 80-year-old building before it comes tumbling down. That’s a big concern to Mayor Ted Eyre as city leaders design a new home for Murray City Hall.
The current city hall, located at 5025 South State Street, was built in 1934 and is not considered structurally or seismically sound. Although it’s been updated as much as possible, the mayor is concerned for the safety of employees and residents who visit the site.
“The building houses our first responders,” Eyre said. “They’re going to be at a disadvantage if anything happens, and all of their equipment is stored there as well.”
Additionally, the city offices have expanded to meet the needs of a growing community, with departments spread out across the city. Eyre would like to house all the city’s departments in one consolidated location. That would include bringing the court system, the building department and other services back on site at city hall.
City leaders are looking at two potential locations for the new building. The first place would be on the west side of State Street between 4900 South and 5th Avenue. Because the city already owns most of that area, it wouldn’t have to purchase additional property.
This location is also where city officials want to construct a performing arts center. Salt Lake County leaders will decide during the first quarter of 2015 if funding for this theater will be awarded to Taylorsville or Murray.
If Murray wins the bid, developers will have to determine if there’s enough room for the PAC and city hall in that location. The result might be a smaller, but taller, building.
The second location would be just east of the existing city hall, where the building could be spread out a little more and not as high.
“It will be much like the Hillcrest Junior High construction,” Eyre said. “They’d build it in the back while we continue to work in the older building.”
Currently, city hall is approximately 50,000 square feet. After getting feedback from department leaders, police officers and architects, city officials have determined that the new building will need to be 70,000 square feet. Eyre would like this to include on-site storage for police department equipment and a secure, controlled entryway for prisoners to be escorted to and from the building.
City officials have been saving money for many years to fund the new city hall. And while it needs to be done soon, Eyre wants to take the time to do it right and plan for future growth. He’d like to see construction underway by late summer.
“We are very determined to start the process of building city hall because the city needs it,” Eyre said. “We want to make a city hall to be proud of, but we don’t want to do anything extravagant.”