Civic Center next on PC’s building agenda

The Platte City Board of Aldermen now know the recommendations and its next step in the process of figuring out a solution for the City’s main facilities. City Administrator DJ Gehrt plans to take a look at potential private sector uses for the Civic Center building. From there, plans can move forward on how to best go about repairing or replacing the buildings that serve City Hall, the Platte City Police Department and the Public Works Department. “The next step is to really take a deep breath. This isn’t the top thing on our agenda because it’s a long-term problem,” Gehrt said after Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting at City Hall. The board accepted a lengthy report Tuesday that Shive Hattery — a Des Moines, Iowa architectural and engineering firm — prepared, laying out potential 20-year plan options for the City to pursue. The assessment was done based on current codes and provided very clear findings. The Public Works complex spread across two locales causes inefficiencies with portions nearing structurally unsound conditions. City Hall is structurally sound but needs to be larger to realistically achieve full functionality. The Civic Center, which housed the police station until May of 2013, provides a myriad of code issues and a prohibitive cost for the city to consider massive renovations. The three facilities average 75 years of age with the oldest portion of the Civic Center built in 1910. “What we found is that basically the buildings the city are using for their services are in pretty rough shape,” Shive Hattery project manager Phil Parrott said while addressing the BOA, adding that areas of the Civic Center east of the gymnasium are not salvageable due to cost of renovations and maintenance in conjunction with the building’s utility inefficiencies. Gehrt said a private sector investor with a revenue source and access to tax credits for renovation could help solve the Civic Center problem. Once the City vets that possibility, leaders can work to form a plan. Regardless of new facilities or renovations, costs could run from about $3.5 to $5 million depending on which option is pursued. Choosing upgrades and upkeep to existing facilities would lead to facing a repeat of the current problem in 20 years.

Read the whole story in this week's issue of The Citizen.