Updated 2:52 p.m. 11/19/14
The Paducah City Commission approved a motion Tuesday night to proceed with the preliminary design of a new City Hall. The current, 50-year-old structure doesn’t meet modern seismic standards and has rust, cracks, and concrete falling from its canopy.
In a call for comments regarding a new building’s location, seventy-two percent of respondents prefer to either build a new building or renovate an existing building other than the current facility. City Hall Commissioner Richard Abraham sees opportunity in the area near City Hall.
“I think if we’re looking to remain in this civic center zone would be an opportunity to for us to, to expand this zone,” Abraham said.
The commissioners agreed to price construction on a new city hall because the $16 million cost to renovate outweighs costs of new construction. They compared the cost of a new city hall to the new Murray State University Paducah campus building.
The city is also in need of new police and fire departments, and Abrahams suggests considering a joint building to house all three departments.
City manager Jeff Pederson told the commission the footprint of such a building is a concern, and the fire station would be more desirable closer to the west end of the city.
In 2012, the police and fire departments combined their construction budgets to save for future building projects. Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barnhill said it’s too early to talk about a price tag, but the goal is for a facility that could accommodate the departments' needs for the next 30 to 40 years.