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City releases plans for ambitious council chambers redesign

By Kyle Blankenship | Herald staff writer​ ​ ​

The city of Killeen released preliminary blueprints of an ambitious redesign of the Killeen City Council chambers at City Hall as part of its Tuesday workshop agenda posted online Friday.

The proposed new chambers, which will stay in the same location as the current chambers at 101 N. College St., will include a completely redesigned and updated dais, seating area, video technology room and equipment.

The city has previously said the new chambers would include accommodations for meetings, workshops and executive sessions. The redesign would also include new electrical wiring, HVAC, sound, lighting, and cosmetic improvements to include carpet, upholstery, paint and window shades.

The council budgeted $496,028 for the total improvements in the fiscal year 2018 budget with $300,000 coming from Public, Educational and Governmental funds, a grant from the Federal Communications Commission to improve the quality of public access channels.

The current council chambers were constructed in 1995, according to the city, and have had no significant improvements since construction.

In September 2016, the city commissioned an engineering study that found the City Hall building needed $1.87 million in repairs to be completely usable. City Hall, which was formerly an elementary school, was built in 1923.

Following the report, the city floated a number of possibilities for the building, including moving City Hall functions wholesale to the Killeen Arts and Activities Center at 801 N. 4th St.

In the meantime, the city moved personnel and records from the third floor of City Hall, which is directly above the council chambers.

Other plans including overhauling the council’s workshop space at 210 W. Avenue C into an all-inclusive workshop and meeting space. In July, Killeen City Manager Ron Olson scrapped plans to move higher administrative functions from City Hall and proposed an overhaul of the chambers in their current location.

Acording to a council memorandum, the city will move ahead to issue engineering and construction bidding requests in the near future. The council will receive a briefing on the redesign at its workshop session at 5 p.m. today at 210 W. Avenue C.

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