City Hall to represent true essence of Edgerton
Line cost issues
The committee charged with designing Edgerton's new City Hall hopes the city can avoid paying more than $100,000 to move power, cable and phone lines.
The architect's original design for the building required moving the lines. Edgerton originally believed the utility companies would pay to move the lines, but Alliant Energy told city officials that it's the city's responsibility to pay.
Last week, the committee directed architect Steve Holzhauer to put the building in a different spot on the lot at Albion and Fulton streets so it doesn't conflict with the power lines.
The change will put the building farther back from the road, increasing the size of the small park planned in front of the building, Holzhauer said.
EDGERTON The architect working on the Edgerton City Hall project recently compared the city's residents to the Founding Fathers, who built the nation's capital when only a few hundred families lived there.
Edgerton also is building for the future by moving forward with the new City Hall despite a recession, said Steve Holzhauer of Eppstein Uhen Architects.
"(A City Hall) represents the people," he said. "It represents their pride in their town, their hope for the future."
Of course, no one expects the Edgerton building to look like the White House. But it could represent the city for the next 50 years or more, a fact design committee members keep in mind as they work, they said.
Edgerton's existing City Hall was built more than 100 years ago. The city installed wooden beams last winter to support the walls, which are deteriorating from water damage. City officials have said the building is inefficient and lacks space.
Jim Klein, a design committee member, went a step further.
"(The current building) is really an embarrassment to our community," he said.
In June, residents approved a referendum by 17 votes to spend up to $1.2 million on a new City Hall.
Since then, the ad-hoc design committee has met to help plan the new building. Many of the 13 committee members served on an earlier committee that recommended Edgerton go to referendum to build a new City Hall.
Klein and Larry MacKenzie were early supporters of the new City Hall, but they didn't have any idea what they wanted the building to look like at first, they said.
Holzhauer showed the committee 40 slides of buildings, ranging in style from classical to contemporary. He asked the committee to rank each image.
The committee liked the traditional buildings with strong details, such as masonry work and curves, Holzhauer said. It did not like modern buildings made of glass.
Members clearly wanted something to fit into the historic character of the downtown, he said.
"It won't be an old-looking building, but it will be a building that looks like it belongs and fits in with the historic neighborhood," Holzhauer said.
The exercise helped Klein and MacKenzie realize what they wanted for the building, they said.
"I wanted it to be inviting to people, so they would feel welcome to come to the building," Klein said.
Both said they're happy with the preliminary drawing and floor plan Holzhauer has created.
"It will be impressive, and yet I would say a very modest building," MacKenzie said.
The committee, architect and construction manager are far along on the design, Holzhauer said. Design work ideally should be done by the end of February so construction can start in May, he said.
A few major decisions remain, such as whether to include geothermal heating and a partial basement, MacKenzie said.
The process hasn't been entirely smooth. Under the original plan, the city would have to pay more than $100,000 to move power, phone and cable lines away from the proposed building site. The committee directed the architect last week to move the building to a different point on the lot so it doesn't interfere with the lines.
Meanwhile, the construction estimate is $104,000 over budget, though the construction manager, Steve Klaven, said the budget will be balanced when it's done.
MacKenzie is confident the city will get past the difficulties.
"There's always hurdles in a building project," he said. "You just get over it.