Middletown to begin design work on city building makeover

Middletown City Council approved entering a contract for the design work for the makeover of the City Building. The multi-year project is expected to begin in 2019 with the north promenade improvements that is expected to cost about $500,000. After the completion of the north promenade improvements, plans are in the works for improvements to the building’s south promenade and plaza over the next several years. CONTRIBUTED

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Middletown City Council approved entering a contract for the design work for the makeover of the City Building. The multi-year project is expected to begin in 2019 with the north promenade improvements that is expected to cost about $500,000. After the completion of the north promenade improvements, plans are in the works for improvements to the building’s south promenade and plaza over the next several years. CONTRIBUTED

Middletown is moving forward in its plans to give the City Building a makeover.

City Council gave the go-ahead to City Manager Doug Adkins to contract with Williams Creek Consulting to prepare plans and specifications for the first phase of a multi-year project that starts with the building’s north promenade. That contract is not to exceed $77,800.

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City officials said the pavers around the City Building and plaza have been a pedestrian safety issue and liability concern for many years. In addition, Adkins previously told council there were post 9/11 building security recommendations, ongoing water leakage issues in the lower level where the Division of Police is located as well as other drainage issues.

Last month, Adkins presented a conceptual plan that was prepared in early 2018 to address the entire City Building grounds including Donham Plaza. The plan is broken up into multiple phases to be constructed over the next several years or as funding allows.

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The first phase of the plan is the north promenade, which is located along the entire north side of the City Building and extends across the existing north driveway. The area is used for access to the north side of the City Building, short-term parking and is the roof for the police offices.

City officials recommended moving forward with the phase one design which include closing the area to vehicle traffic and providing a sustainable pedestrian path and entry way to the north building entrance. Officials said aesthetic landscaping and hardscaping features will be incorporated into the design consistent with the Downtown Master Plan and city branding efforts. Those components will act as a “green roof” over the police department below and will also include storm water controls for drainage.

The estimated construction cost is $500,000 and will take place in 2019. The first phase costs are included in the city’s proposed 2019 non-public safety budget that is expected to be approved by council next month.

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The project will also include improvements to the building’s south plaza and the south promenade in the coming years.

Cost for renovations to the building’s south plaza are estimated at between $1.69 million to $2.01 million.

The city building at 1 Donham Plaza opened in 1976 and houses the city’s administrative offices, The Middletown Municipal Court, police headquarters and jail, and the Middletown City School District’s administrative offices.

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