Dublin Chamber of Commerce facilities upgrades planned
By April 2021, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce could have a new pavilion for public use, as well as an updated interior.
Jenny Amorose, the chamber's chief operating officer, said she hopes to begin construction outside and inside by late fall.
"I think it will be a really nice updated look, you know, to the building," Amorose said.
The chamber's building at 129 S. High St. is owned by the city, Amorose said.
Dublin City Council members in February approved an ordinance that committed $335,000 toward the project.
According to a Feb. 4 memo to council, the chamber will pay $115,000 toward the project.
The ordinance also approved a new building lease for the chamber for a 10-year term. The chamber would be able to extend the lease for two five-year terms.
The chamber pays the city $2,450 a month in rent. Dublin City Council forgave the rent from May through July 2020.
Interior improvements will include adding two new ADA-compliant restrooms, Amorose said. The facility's restrooms will be turned into a kitchen area that will connect to the conference area, which will get a technology upgrade and glass doors.
The office space will be reduced, Amorose said. Some of that space will be used for a smaller conference area.
Outside in front of the building, a new pavilion will be constructed, Amorose said. The space will have power and soft lighting, she said.
Although the pavilion had been included in the chamber improvements, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic made the need for outside alternative meeting space even more apparent, Amorose said.
"It's kind of taken on a different perspective," she said.
The area, the entrance to the historic district to the south, doesn't really have outside space for people to visit, Amorose said, so the pavilion would serve that need.
The pavilion would be able to accommodate up to 10 people, she said.
The pandemic has made it difficult to foster social connections among business peers and clients, said Axott Estep, the chamber's president.
Meeting virtually is an option, but chamber leaders believed providing alternatives to members would be appreciated, he said.
"The pavilion will serve as a location where our members can stay connected with other business leaders and clients while offering the ability to maintain social distancing in an outdoor location," he said.
The project was slated to go before the city's architectural review board Aug. 26 for minor project review.