MARYSVILLE – The city officially broke ground on its new $47.6 million Civic Campus Monday.
Because of freezing temperatures, a pile of fresh dirt was brought in, rather than have city leaders actually try to turn frozen ground with their shovels.
“I’ve got twenty-five or thirty minutes” of comments, Mayor Jon Nehring joked as he thanked the dozens in the audience for braving the cold. They laughed as they crowded together to stay warm.
Nehring recalled how City Hall used to be across the street in what is now the Community Center, along with the police station and jail. But as the town grew city buildings became spread out all over the city.
“That’s not the most customer friendly,” Nehring said, adding it’s not the best situation for city employees either.
In two years, city services will be under one roof in a building that will be modern and energy efficient, he said.
The Civic Campus will house most city departments and include a public space that will be a “great community gathering area,” Nehring said.
The departments include police, jail, city court, City Council chambers, City Hall, Community Development and Engineering. Parks will remain at Jennings Park and Public Works near the wastewater treatment plant.
City voters were thanked for passing a small sales tax increase that will pay for the public safety portion of the Civic Campus. The city will sell off its old buildings used for services to pay for the rest.
The mayor, as he said his hands were getting numb from turning the pages of his speech, thanked the City Council, along with former longtime councilwoman Donna Wright. Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima suggested marching in place to stay warm as she continued to thank all the city departments and their directors.
Project manager Bryan Milligan said actual construction will start before the end of the month. He said he hopes the Civic Campus provides a “domino effect to revise downtown.”
•Police and courts: 43,130 square feet over two stories.
•Jail: 20,848 sf over two stories. 48 cells to hold up to 96 inmates.
•City Hall: 37,239 sf over four stories.
•Delta Street will be closed to traffic and connect Comeford Park to the campus as a public gathering place for festivals and a farmers market.
•Police, courts and City Hall will be between 5th and 6th streets and the jail between 6th and 7th streets.
•There will be 31 street parking spaces and 208 off street. Electric charging stations will be available.