By Sara Hall and Amy Senk | NB Indy and Corona del Mar Today
After years of planning, decisions, and construction, city hall opened for business this week at its new location.
“We’re very excited to open for business again,” said city manager Dave Kiff in an email. “We feel very honored to be in the building, and we hope that the community will come and visit us soon to see it all – the park, the civic green, the expanded library, and so much more.”
The city building was closed for a week while staff moved everything from the old site at 3300 Newport Blvd. to the new location at 100 Civic Center Drive.
The city moved about 200 employees, computers, phones, the data center, and truckloads of plans and files over without many mishaps, Kiff wrote.
Building inspections will resume on Tuesday, according to a city webpage.
People can expect a much more straightforward experience when visiting the one-stop permit counter, Kiff explained. There is plenty of parking space close to the building, he added, and no parking meters to feed.
Construction related to the civic center project will close the central library this Saturday and Sunday, the library’s website states.
The closure will let the construction crew “remove all temporary walls and clean the building,” the website states.
The new expansion will be open to the public at 9 a.m. Monday.
“The new city hall and library expansion will allow us to improve the customer experience for all our residents for the next four generations. We are now in a central location accessible from every part of our city,” Mayor Keith Curry wrote in an email.
The library will offer a significantly expanded children’s area, with state-of-the-art study carrels for research and web-browsing, and many sitting areas.
The library was closed for the last two weeks of March, as well as in October for planned construction. Unscheduled closures related to construction closed the library for a day in February and in July.
The library expansion project began in December 2010 and connects the library’s second floor to the new Civic Center Plaza with a bridge that will include a cafe and a wireless lounge area, and the first floor expansion includes a larger children’s area, larger adult reading areas, a multimedia room and a staircase to the second floor.
There will be a grand opening event for the entire civic center and park on May 4 at 10:30 a.m. to “officially dedicate the buildings and park,” the city’s website states. The event will include a ribbon-cutting, open house, tours, live entertainment and refreshments.
“Very soon (people visiting the center and park) will enjoy over 1.5 miles of trails in a park that fits in well with the neighborhood,” Kiff said.