Council got another look at the preliminary design for the municipal government complex and the Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center. Councilors also gave approval to put the Hillsborough-Morgan streets roundabout out for bids.
Architects working on the new public safety center say the current police headquarters is on schedule to be demolished next fall. If the work stays on schedule, the new building should be done by the middle of 2012. The new police and fire department headquarters is the first phase for building a new municipal government complex that will house almost all city employees by 2027.
See the architect’s presentation to council below.
The architects with Kling Stubbins are aiming for LEED Gold certification on the complex. The design for the 16-story public safety center includes what the designers call a “cloud” on top of the building that will have solar panels to help power the complex.
The development will include a green roof on one building that will also function as a park for the estimated 3,500 city employees at the site. The entire municipal complex will collect rain water for reuse and use low-flow toilets to reduce water consumption. The buildings will also use natural light to cut down on energy consumption.
Most council members liked the plan, though Philip Isley (District E) questioned if going ahead with this project now is a good idea given the now-official economic recession. City Manager Russell Allen responded by saying that now is a good time to get lower rates for the construction, but council doesn’t have to “pull the trigger” and get financing for the building until this summer. Allen also noted that the city has been “putting this off for a number of years.”
Mary Ann Baldwin (At-Large) also responded to Isley’s concerns and argued that going ahead with construction would help create jobs in Raleigh. The public safety center is expected to cost $226 million.
“Roundabout round two” – Mayor Charles Meeker
Council members approved the design for the Hillsborough-Morgan street roundabouts and voted to put the project out for bids.
The $850,000 project will be the first of what’s planned to be a series of roundabouts down Hillsborough Street. The one-lane roundabout should be finished by late next year and Morgan Street will be converted back to a two-way street.