By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City Hall front renovations to begin soon
The Monroe City Hall is currently undergoing renovations on the interior. Exterior work is expected to begin soon. To order this photo, click here. (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
MONROE - City Hall will soon get a facelift, but city officials are still unsure of the start date for renovations.

Monroe Common Council members agreed Tuesday to hire Gilbank Construction, based in Clinton. The company bid for $287,600 was accepted over an offer from Bachman Construction to do the work for $355,500.

Gilbank Construction completed the newest terminal at the Monroe Municipal Airport. Its record of work with the city, plus the benefit of a lower quote, made the company the best choice, City Administrator Phil Rath said.

In early June, the Board of Public Works decided on a design created by Patrick McGowan of McGowan Architecture in New Glarus. The plan was one of three options to renovate the front entrance of City Hall. The meeting was a follow-up on a decision in January to replace the infrastructure at the front of the building before next year. With crumbling cement stairs and rickety metal banisters causing concerns for public safety, the city decided updates were necessary.

The option incorporates the circular look of the main stairs leading up to council chambers. The plan calls for half-sphere stairs beginning from the front sidewalk, rather than the spanning line of cement currently in place. A jutting square set of stairs is placed on the left, making the choice of entrances clearer to visitors who either wish to attend a council meeting or visit city administrators. A canopy over the Parks and Recreation Department entrance ramp was included in the design. The option allows for more greenery as well, including trees and a terrace of plants.

Rath said updates to the handicap entrance of the building have recently been added to the plans. The entrance is currently located at the back of the building. The heavy door has no electronic assistance to help those who may not be able to open it manually.

"It's there, but there's not anything there to allow people to use it," Rath said of the handicap accessible entrance.

There will be electrical updates to make the bathrooms near the back entrance more accessible as well.

Rath said once the city agrees on the final plans with Gilbank, it will be able to establish a timeline for the scope of work. Currently, the goal is to begin construction during the current project at City Hall.

Since Monday, City Hall has been closed as asbestos is removed and floor tiles are replaced. City employees have been temporarily relocated to other municipal buildings in Monroe.

The project is expected to take six weeks. Rath said if the front entrance project starts at the beginning of September, the initial work of the new project could begin while employees are still out of the building.