COPPERAS COVE — Contracting a local architect to remodel the Copperas Cove Economic Development office could lead to the demolition of the old city hall at 507 S. Main St.
On Thursday, the EDC saw a renovated floor plan for its office building at 210 S. First St., and approved Cove-based EVstudio to be the project’s architect for about $15,000.
“This well exceeds what I thought,” said Bradi Diaz, EDC board member.
The preliminary floor plan includes spacious meeting chambers that could serve the corporation, the Copperas Cove City Council and the planning and zoning commission.
In March and April, the council directed City Manager Andrea Gardner to participate in planning the corporation’s building renovations to create a joint-use meeting facility. Hiring the architect was the first step in that process.
By creating a joint-use meeting area, the city can fully vacate the old building at 507 S. Main St., which was partially vacated last year.
“The old city hall building needs to be demolished,” Gardner said via email Thursday.
The 52-year-old building needs multiple repairs and has been costly to maintain in recent years, Gardner said. Among the items for repair is an $80,000 roof reconstruction to prevent rain from damaging equipment.
Since the renovations to the EDC building are still in planning stages, accurate cost estimates haven’t been determined, said Polo Enriquez, the corporation’s executive director. The city and the EDC do, however, plan to share the cost.
“The opportunity to partner with the EDC is a much less expensive option to building a new council chambers,” Gardner said.
The corporation will set aside about $125,000 for the renovations, and the city will allocate about $75,000 in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, though no formal agreement has been made.
“Council does have the discretion to remove that expenditure after the budget is submitted,” Gardner said.