ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – The City of Athens will soon have a new home. Plans were unveiled today for the construction of a new city hall. The city has had to borrow office space since the former city hall sustained water damage and had to be torn down.
Right now, Athens City Hall is sharing space in the Athens Utilities Building. City officies occupy most of the top floor of the facility. Within the next two years, however, those offices will move into a new building. The design and construction were discussed during a city council work session Friday morning.
“We’re excited about it. I think it’s a good building for the future of the City of Athens,” says Athens Mayor Ron Marks.
The new facility will be built on Hobbs Street, in the same location where the former city hall was located. The city borrowed the money for the project back in 2009, and that money has been sitting in the bank drawing interest since then.
Mayor Marks is quick to point out the decision to build now is not related to the city’s recent sales tax increase. “This money was looked at by the bond market in 2009, at the same time we refinanced bonds, got a huge svings out of it, got money for the school system to build a new central office, and that money was designated to build a new city hall in 2009,” he said.
In an effort to save as much as possible on the project, city engineers will spearhead the construction with city employees will doing as much of the work as possible. Construction will begin soon and the new building should be ready for occupancy in about 2 years.