City employees and officials hope to break ground on a new administration building in 2014, but currently, the existing City Hall is crumbling.
City operations were moved from the administration building at 507 S. Main St., to 914 S. Main St., in May after it was determined the building that continues to house the council chambers was no longer usable.
Cove Chief Building Official Mike Morton said the original city hall was built in the 1950s.
“It was built in sections with the center section lower than the other sections,” Morton said. “This created problems. Whenever you build something above another roof, you’re always going to have leaks.”
The additional sections were added in the 1970s. Morton said the roof has been replaced several times. With the difference in the roof elevations, re-roofing the building cost the city $86,000-$96,000 each time it was done.
“Another roof was built on top of the old roof to try to solve the problem, but there was no access underneath to fix any of the leaks,” Morton said. “The utility department still floods with every rain storm.”
Water stains from leaks in the roof cover the ceiling tiles in the old finance department as do water stains gathered on the light fixtures where water continues to leak down through the electrical system.
“Any time you have water hitting electrical, you have problems,” Morton said. “There are holes in the roof so big that birds would get into the offices.”
Mildew stains cover the carpet where water has been trapped repeatedly underneath.
Paint peels on the walls with damage to the sheetrock from the continued dampness. Morton said the carpets have been replaced repeatedly and the walls have been repaired every 2 to 3 years.
The leaks also damaged the telephone system which was replaced less than a year ago, said Kelli Sames, the city’s human resources director.
“It was irreparable. So we had to use the police department’s old back-up phone system,” she said. “It was a sizable investment for a new phone system.”
On Nov. 19, Brinkley Sargent Architects presented a proposal to the city council to build a 40,500-square-foot building for $16 million.
The firm also presented a proposal to build a joint facility for $21 million to house both city and county operations on Second Street. The county’s main administration office will remain in Gatesville.
Both proposals included furniture, phones, audio visual equipment and other amenities needed for operation.