LaPorte looks to restore century-old City Hall

2013-07-21T18:18:00Z 2013-07-21T19:34:22Z LaPorte looks to restore century-old City HallStan Maddux Times Correspondent
July 21, 2013 6:18 pm  • 

LAPORTE | No longer will areas of the century-old LaPorte City Hall be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

Occasional power outages from system overloads also will be a thing of the past.

Work is scheduled to begin the first week of August on a $1.2 million renovation of the two-story 1913 structure.

"It's desperately needed. That's for sure," City Councilman Ron McAtee said.

A majority of the work will involve putting in new heating, cooling and electrical systems.

City engineer Dale Clingerman said the current 600 amp electrical system will be replaced with an 800 amp system to deliver the power necessary to operate computers and other electronic devices that weren't as widely used when the existing power system was put in many years ago.

The new cooling system will solve problems with not enough cool air reaching the second floor, where conditions are often too sticky in the summer.

In winter, employees in parts of the building that don't get enough heat from an old boiler system will be able to put away sweaters or even space heaters once the new higher capacity and efficient heating system is in place.

Other work will include making the sloped floor in the council chamber flat to improve accessibility for the disabled.

"The whole purpose of the project is to make the building a little more user friendly," Clingerman said.

The outside of the structure, originally built as a post office, is in great shape but will undergo some tuckpointing to shore up a few loose bricks.

The trim and other parts of the exterior that are made of wood will be repainted.

New concrete steps will be installed at the front entranceway to replace the ones that are sagging and leaning. The bumpy parking lot also will be repaved.

"I'm very excited to move forward on that project," Mayor Blair Milo said.

Clingerman said employees will have to temporarily be relocated while the work on the inside is occurring.

He expects the project to be finished before the end of November.

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