West Lafayette narrows down location of future city hall

West Lafayette is inching closer to pinpointing a location for its new city hall. The future site is now down to three choices.

Posted: May 16, 2018 4:13 PM
Updated: May 16, 2018 9:12 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — West Lafayette is inching closer to pinpointing a location for its new city hall. The future site is now down to three choices.

EVENT: Those interested in learning more can attend a public viability presentation at the Morton Center Wednesday Night from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"It's going to be somewhere where people can get to it easily, where they have the appropriate amount of parking and where the facility is going to be suitable for the city of West Lafayette as it grows," said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis.

The Morton Center, land near the future of home West Lafayette's Recreation Center and the site of the former city hall are all possibilities for the future city hall.

"The big issue about the location is making sure that wherever this building ends up, it's going to be a place that's going to be accessible to our population," Dennis said.

The choices are the results of a viability study. According to the study, the Morton Center is the front-runner. That's based on criteria like availability of land and cost.

The building would be gutted and completely renovated.

"There's a lot of money that's going to need to go into this building regardless of where city hall goes," said Development Director Erik Carlson. "So, if we can do two projects in one, clearly this report is showing it's a good opportunity for it."

Construction would cost between $6.5 to $8 million. Once completed, it would house city hall and community center spaces.

The other two options would cost about the same. However, the two other options would only allow for city hall construction and not the additional community space.

"We need to make sure the components that will comprise our new city hall are relevant to what's going on now," said Dennis.

Carlson said the Morton Center makes sense because of its proximity to the rest of downtown West Lafayette.

"There's so much that's going on right here that it makes a lot of sense for, in the 21st-century economy, to have your hub of government within an area where you have that type of dense activity," said Carlson.

The Morton Center is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Carlson said renovating the building would also help preserve a piece of history.

"We need to have a juxtaposition that shows where we're going, but how we got here and this is a wonderful example," Carlson added.

Public input on city hall is still welcome. Carlson said the city should have the final location chosen by the end of the year.

Those interested in learning more can attend a public viability presentation at the Morton Center Wednesday Night from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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