71.3 F
Mobile
69.1 F
Huntsville
70.2 F
Birmingham
66.9 F
Montgomery

‘100-year’ Huntsville City Hall opens to much fanfare

All the luminaries past and present were there.

There were mayors, council members, civic leaders, movers and shakers and just plain ol’ interested citizens.

All convened in the downtown square for a ribbon-cutting ceremony befitting what has become one of the country’s cool places to live and work.

The new Huntsville City Hall, a seven-story project years in the making that took two years to build, officially opened for business on a hot, sunny Tuesday.

(City of Huntsville/Contributed)

Roads were blocked off to accommodate the sizable crowd that gathered at the corner of Jefferson Street and Fountain Circle for what was called a “100-year” building  that replaced the old one that lasted 60.

“Today, we are turning a page in municipal government,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “We are proud to present the citizens of Huntsville a municipal building that will last us for the next 100 years.

“This is a building that is worthy of this community and our reputation as a modern, forward-thinking smart city.”

Among those in attendance were former Mayors Loretta Spencer and Steve Hettinger. Along with Battle, speakers included City Council President David Little, City Administrator John Hamilton, General Services Director Ricky Wilkinson, Goodwyn Mills Cawood CEO Jeffrey Brewer, Turner Construction Company VP and General Manager Brendan McCormick and Arts Huntsville Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken.

Lily Flagg (256 Today)

The former city hall, which will be demolished with the site ticketed for Big Spring Park greenspace expansion, was not only in need of repair it didn’t meet the needs of Huntsville’s growth.

Huntsville’s new center of municipal government will bring departments that frequently interact with the public under one roof to provide efficient services for residents and businesspeople who previously had to visit multiple locations to conduct business with the city.

Battle said the old sight had become an eyesore of sorts on the inside when doing business with possible clients.

“They said you wouldn’t know we were a top city by the looks of the offices. And they were right,” Battle said. “Our old city hall lasted 60 years and it’s not a bad run. At one time, it even housed a jail and police and fire departments. And once we outgrew that building, you had to move offices to separate locations throughout the city.

“Today, that chapter’s over.”

CITY HALL BY FLOOR:

  • First: Huntsville-Madison County EMA, Print Shop, Inspections, Natural Resources, Fire Marshall
  • Second: Council Chambers, Human Resources, Administration
  • Third: Finance, City Clerk, Community Development
  • Fourth; Planning/GIS;  Engineering, Urban Development
  • Fifth: General Services, Legal, ITS
  • Sixth: City Council, Conference/Training Space
  • Seventh: Office of the Mayor, Communications, DEI
    City Hall sixth floor terrace (256 Today)

Through a collaboration with ArtsHuntsville, nine pieces of public art are displayed throughout the building to enhance the community’s cultural experience. Each piece, through the artist’s interpretation, tells Huntsville’s story and spotlights characteristics that make the city unique.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the city hosted an open house for attendees to explore the building and enjoy the art pieces.

Courtesy of 256 Today

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.