by Alan McArthur
Among its advantages, Parkville’s newly-occupied government headquarters in the Parkville Commons nearly doubles the square footage available to city employees.
It means that Parkville government departments are all located in one building now.
The new building--located in the Parkville Commons at Hwy. 9 and 45-- has 24,000 square feet and came with a $3.57 million price tag.
The new city hall has incorporated many of the good features from the previous, and includes a better layout and more security features.
One of the biggest features of the new city hall, officials say, is an improved layout and floor plan.
According to Dan Koch, Parkville project manager, the old city hall had departments that work together on different floors and even some employees located in different buildings.
Now the police department and the courtroom/aldermen meeting room are located on the lower floor and are directly connected to each other. There is even a hallway leading directly from the jail to the courtroom that is not accessible by the public.
The courtroom also features a board room attached for executive meetings.
“Before if the board of aldermen went into an executive session, they had to go upstairs,” said Koch. “Now there is a meeting room directly attached to the courtroom.”
Another feature of the courtroom/aldermen meeting room is a dedicated room for Parkville’s local cable channel 2. The room looks directly into the courtroom so controllers can actually see the room.
At the old city hall, channel 2 controllers were in a separate room and had to watch TV monitors to know what was going on in the meeting room. The controllers will now be able to watch what is going on inside the meeting room and switch between camera views.
The courtroom itself features laptop hookups as well as microphones for each of the board members.
The upper floor now has community development and public works located in the east wing, helpful in that the offices often work in conjunction with one another.
Administrative offices are in the other wing of the upper floor.
Parkville’s main lobby, on the upper floor, has two reception areas serving either wing of the building.
“Before we had three different places for people,” said Koch. “Now we don’t have to go different places in the city to get things done.”
All of the city’s maps and forms are now stored in one location within the building so they are accessible by employees.
The administrative offices for the mayor and city clerk, etc. are located in the west wing of the building on the upper floor.
“The layout of the building is a lot better than the old one,” said Koch. “There is now plenty of room for the employees.”
Not all of the city’s departments received a space in the new building. The streets and the parks departments are still at their original locations in Parkville.
Parkville has incorporated several new security features to protect the building. On all of the doors to office areas or restricted areas there are keyless access pads that only allow authorized people to enter.
“We had the system at the old building, but now it’s on more of the doors,” said Koch.
There are also security gates in the upstairs lobby to keep people from jumping over the counter to get into offices.
“During the evening, we can close the gates to secure the building,” said Koch. “We have tried to make the building more secure.”
The new city hall was built with enough offices for Parkville’s employees. Before, there were employees working out of the old train depot and some employees had to share offices.
The city attorney and the court clerk have separate offices in which to conduct city business.
There is now space for the city hall to expand if the need ever arises.
“The area on the roof over the garage was designed to be built on top of,” said Koch. “We just have to remove one window and make it a door and then build extra offices onto it.”
Williams, Spurgeon, Kuhl, and Freshnock Architects, WSKF, located in North Kansas City, designed Parkville’s city hall. They also designed the shops at the Parkville Commons and several other city halls in the Metro area.
The work on the city hall will be finished soon.
“The contractors are almost finished up,” said Koch. “There’s just touch-up painting and a few minor projects to finish. But we are all ready to go now.”