Municipal building site plans approved

Jan. 21, 2014

Oak Creek — The Plan Commission last week signed off on bidding out work on the new city hall, library and fire station to be built at Drexel Town Square.

The site are at 75 percent completion, and will be brought into sharper focus in the coming weeks, city officials said.

Features have been added and removed throughout the design process and the final amenities and shape of the buildings will be decided after city officials know the costs of various options. City Administrator Gerald Peterson said the point of the back-and-forth process is to keep the city within its $28.4 million budget for the new buildings.

The bidding process will start in mid-February, a bid will be sent to the Common Council for approval in March and groundbreaking is slated for April.

City Hall

City Hall and the library will be within a single building.

A 176-foot-tall clock tower is shown in the plans, as is geothermal energy and underground parking.

While its design already has been the subject of many changes, there still may be a few more in store for the building.

The exterior walls may be either stone or a stone-colored brick, depending on the cost. In addition, there are numerous other potential changes that might be made as the process continues, Peterson said. Many small things could be adjusted, reduced or added after costs come in.

What most likely won't change, Director of Community Development Doug Seymour said, are the sizes and shapes of both City Hall and the Fire Department.

The new City Hall/library building will have 98 parking stalls, about 30 less than currently serve the two entities. Seymour said the new location will be surrounded by on-street parking, which will offset the impact of having fewer onsite spaces.

The names of the streets that will wrap around the new complex, Library and Market, didn't impress Alderman Dan Bukiewicz, who sarcastically called Library Street "really imaginative." He added he didn't have much of a problem with Market Street, but he would like a more creative name than Library Street.

Fire Department

Mike Hacker, a representative from Bray Architects, laid out many possible changes to the designs for the new fire station.

Two potential cuts into the building — the loss of a bay and storage garage for trailers — could be made. Both cuts, however, would be made in such a way that the extra bay or storage garage could be added later.

The plans calling for the fire station to have a windowed, gable roof are still uncertain. The alternative would be to set up a fake face for the gable roof, but not have anything behind it.

Other possible changes include tweaking how the main doors open for fire engines. The plans call for swing doors, which open to the side and have the benefit, Hacker said, of opening faster and containing fewer moving parts. They could be swapped out for overhanging garage doors if deemed too expensive.

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