New Albany News

Village Hall in line for a facelift, inside and out

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New Albany will give Village Hall a facelift this summer by repairing brick steps at the west entrance and replacing some of the furnishings in City Council chambers.

City Manager Joseph Stefanov said it is time for maintenance at the 14-year-old building.

The west-side steps have been blocked for several weeks after the bricks deteriorated to the point they were unsafe for foot traffic.

Last month, Stefanov showed New Albany City Council plans prepared a few years ago by Columbus design firm MKSK that would reduce the amount of brick at the west entrance, narrowing it to a T-shape and adding benches on either side of the walkway up to the steps.

Stefanov said city officials currently are reviewing all landscaping around Village Hall. They plan to replace some bushes and trees that are not getting enough sunlight, he said.

Stefanov said the city set aside $20,000 in the 2014 budget for the outdoor improvements.

He said if the improvements cost more than budgeted, he would have to ask New Albany City Council for more money.

Inside Village Hall, painting will be done as needed and City Council chambers will get a new look. Cracked sound panels, worn carpeting and chairs -- many of which have a slight bend in the legs -- will be replaced.

Stefanov said he hopes to add a wired line to the speaker's podium, thus eliminating the need for the battery-operated microphone currently used by speakers.

He also wants to upgrade the recording system, which would eliminate the need to change CDs during a meeting.

Stefanov said two unusable doorways on the north side of the building, behind the City Council dais, need replaced.

Only one of the three doorways on that side of the building is usable. The other two, which were installed as windows, do not have a threshold. Water around the bottom of the doors has caused them to rot, meaning they will have to be replaced, Stefanov said.

The city budgeted $350,000 for all the repairs, which includes the $20,000 for exterior work, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

Stefanov said he hopes to go to bid on the project in the next week.

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