West St. Paul is planning a renovation of its City Hall, with construction expected in early 2022.
The renovation will be designed to improve customer service, security, warehousing and efficiency within City Hall. According to city documents, the project is estimated to cost around $2 million. West St. Paul is working with the St. Paul architectural firm, Wold Architects & Engineers.
The building, at 1616 Humboldt Avenue, was built in the 1960s and houses several city departments, including council rooms, administration, police, and Parks and Recreation. The city spent nearly five years saving the $2 million needed for the work, which would be focused on the administrative part of the structure.
City manager Nate Burkett said that during the renovation, City Hall will set up a temporary front desk so people can still go to handle city business with employees. Most city officials will work from home, although West St. Paul is looking at renting out some offices and conference rooms so there will be space when needed.
Space Finding, Security
One goal of the renovation is to improve the customer service experience by adding a lobby and service desk directly inside the front door, according to city documents.
Will also address work safety.
“Right now, you can pretty much walk right behind the (front) desk, and go back to the office of anyone you want. We have HR files and IT things and personal details.” City Council member Wendy Berry said. With a service desk separating offices and storage spaces from the front door, it will keep everything secure by controlling access.
After the renovation, City Hall will have more storage than before, primarily for the parks and recreation and recycling departments.
“If you were walking into our office right now we have Parks and Recreation equipment scattered around, because there’s really no storage space for it,” Burkett said. “(With more storage) our Parks & Rec people, and our recycling coordinators can grab the things they need more easily and move in and out of the building.”
Additionally, West St. Paul plans to scan some of the files in their computer systems before the upgrade to free up space and make the files safer. Burkett said they’ll be able to get rid of at least half of their physical files once they digitize.
The layout of the administrative side of the City Hall will also change.
Currently the layout is “extraordinarily inefficient” according to city documents. City officials want to modernize the offices to improve focus and workplace interaction.
With the refurbishment, the crew will deal with leaks in the roof and update the electrical system. More windows will be installed.
“Space isn’t going to get any bigger or anything like that, but we’re going to have a much better alliance, so we can work more closely together,” Burkett said.