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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Halstead City Hall gets makeover 

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  • ?HALSTEAD — Walk through the doors of the city hall in downtown Halstead, and you may do a double-take.?That’s because the building looks a lot different than it did a few months ago. City Administrator J.R. Hatfield said it was time for a renovation of the building, and he hopes the city hall’s updated look will help the city put its “best foot forward.”?“I’ve always believed that about 90 percent of professionalism is appearance,” he said. “We had outgrown the ability to be professional. When people came here for the first time, we wanted to make a good impression.”?The city hall renovation project was completed last week, and the city is giving community members a chance to tour the facility during an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.?The project began with a proposal by the USDA to build a new fire/EMS station in Halstead. A feasibility study indicated there was a need for a new station, but the city decided to get its own bonds, rather than go through the USDA. It turned out the estimated $1.5 million needed for the fire/EMS project would also cover city hall renovations, and Hatfield said it made sense to do the two projects at the same time.?Work on city hall started in December. Sandy Limón with PKHLS Architecture was in charge of the renovation design, and Regier Construction served as the general contractor.?The building was constructed in the 1970s and was in need of an update, Hatfield said. When it was first built, two clerks worked in the office, and now that staff has more than doubled.?In addition to cramped quarters, the building was not wired to handle computers and servers and needed to be more modern and efficient, Hatfield said.?The project has doubled the square footage of city hall. There are now two conference rooms, giving the city’s tree, recreation and community foundation boards a place to meet. The city council room is larger and features new roll-away tables instead of a permanent bench so the council room also can be used as a multi-purpose room.?The building was closed for only about a day and a half during the renovations, during a brief time when there was no electricity.?Hatfield thanked his staff for their patience and flexibility during the project, and he is excited about how the project turned out.?“The citizens, I think, are as excited as we are about having an updated facility,” he said.
     
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