September 10, 2020
At its Sept. 9 meeting, the Woodbury City Council approved health, safety and security improvements to City Hall. Remodeling will begin the week of Sept. 14 and continue through at least November, with some improvements taking place into spring 2021.
About the project
The purpose of the project is to improve safety and security, and further protect public and staff health by allowing for appropriate physical distancing, along with improvements to maximize the efficiencies of the current building layout. The proposed new building layout will isolate customers and visitors primarily to the lobby area, similar to the configuration at the Public Works and Public Safety Buildings.
City Hall will remain open during construction. However, the public is encouraged to continue conducting business with the city remotely as much as possible. City staff will be available via phone or email to help with service requests. Some services are also available online at woodburymn.gov. If you must come in for service, call the department from which you need service in advance and make an appointment.
The Council Chambers will remain open for public meetings, but the public is encouraged to participate virtually instead of coming in person. Learn more on the “City Council meeting agendas” page at woodburymn.gov.
City Hall meeting rooms will not be available for public use until construction is complete and meetings can be held following the state’s social distancing guidelines. However, City Hall will remain a polling place for the Nov. 3 general election (see list on page X).
Those visiting City Hall during construction should expect to experience some noise, vibrations, dust and debris. Staff is working with Kraus-Anderson, the contractor, to mitigate these impacts to the extent practicable.
Proposed improvements include:
- Construction of a new centralized front desk and customer service counter with glass partitions to physically separate staff from the public.
- Implementing new secure card access to the building at all entrances.
- Add flexibility to the public conference rooms to accommodate meetings of varying size and needs.
- Upgrading audio/video capabilities in all conference rooms to allow for better remote and in-person meetings.
- Other improvements to the building to maximize space efficiencies and plan for long-term growth.
Due to federal emergency funds available to provide relief to local governments, the city is in a unique position to act quickly to help plan for, prepare and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The expenditures must be paid by Nov. 15, which increases the urgency related to the timeline.
Health and safety improvements at public buildings
In addition to the proposed enhancements outlined above, there are a number health-related improvements already underway or planned for at City Hall and other city buildings, including:
- Upgrading to hospital-grade (Merv-13) air filters on air handlers.
- Adjustments to air handlers to increase outdoor air rates.
- Bi-polar ionization systems are being explored as a potential option to install on air handlers for high occupancy/high-use buildings, which can improve air quality in a number of ways, not just for COVID-19.
- Touchless faucets will be installed in city buildings where practical.
City Hall history
The existing City Hall was constructed in 1990 and was renovated in 2007. In 2016, enhancements were made to the Council Chambers and the adjoining conference rooms. At that time, building safety and security upgrades were identified as a need; however, the improvements were delayed and outlined in capital improvement planning for another year.
“Moving forward with the remodeling work now eliminates phasing the project over time, which will reduce overall costs, minimize disruption, and leverage the federal funding,” said Engineering Director Chris Hartzell, who is leading the project for the city.
Watch for additional information through the city’s InTouch email notification system and social media accounts. Questions about the project should be directed to the Engineering Department at [email protected] or 651-714-3593.
This press release was produced by the City of Woodbury. The views expressed here are the author’s own.