GALLIPOLIS — Ground was broken at the site of the future Gallipolis Municipal Building on Tuesday evening in Gallipolis.
The building that will house the Gallipolis administrative offices, including the utility office, code enforcement office, tax office, city auditor’s offices, as well as the city manager’s offices, will be located at 333 Third Avenue on city-owned property.
The contractor awarded the bid for the construction is Hoon, Inc., of Athens, a company that presented the lowest bid for the work at $794,450.
Construction of the facility will begin immediately and is expected to take six months.
During the ceremony, Gallipolis City Commission President Jay Cremeens spoke on behalf of the entire commission and thanked previous commissions and their work toward the construction of the new municipal facility.
“It’s a not every night we get to have a groundbreaking ceremony for a new, I refer to it as ‘city hall,’ but, an administration building,” Cremeens said. “This has been an ongoing project, it’s been a fun journey on this project, and we want to thank the previous commission because they really got the ball started.”
During his remarks, Cremeens also provided a history of the discussions surrounding the municipal facility, including the decision to separate the “judicial” functions of the city police, municipal court and city solicitor’s office from the “administrative” offices, as well as the the commission’s decision to locate the building downtown.
“The time never came when we were going to turn our backs on the merchants down town,” Cremeens said. “We thought if we could build a building downtown, we could try to promote some foot traffic. Our downtown area will not be the same as it was when I grew up. That is not going to happen. That’s the way it is in every community; but we wanted to come downtown to be able to bring some more traffic downtown and to help some retail establishments get started. So, this is just another step to bring Gallipolis the finest available facilities for small town government.
“It was a pleasure to be a part of this project and to see where it is today,” he stated.
Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney also spoke during the ceremony and thanked the commissioners for their dedication to the project and also thanked Randy Breech, the project engineer, Panich and Noel Architects, as well as John Williams of Hoon, Inc.
Finney reiterated the sentiment of Cremeens and provided his hope for the future growth of the downtown area of Gallipolis.
“There’s been a lot of involvement, a lot of help from everybody, a lot of support from people and I really hope that we can help the downtown area — get some people back down here and get some things moving,” Finney said.
According to Breech, the exterior of the facility will be nearly identical to the justice center currently being constructed on Second Avenue only in a smaller capacity.
Approximately 12-14 employees will work within the approximately 6,000 square foot building and it will be the future site of Gallipolis City Commission meetings.