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Use of Puyallup City Hall space up for discussion tonight

Post by Matt Misterek / The News Tribune on Jan. 15, 2013 at 11:05 am with No Comments »
January 15, 2013 11:05 am

The Puyallup City Council tonight will discuss how to maximize the use of City Hall space, including moving some operations into the top floor of the 5-story building.

“The council has the feeling that we could tighten up the use of the footprint and free up some space,” said Bill McDonald, the interim city manager.

The five-year-old, $38 million City Hall currently has mixed-use retail and non-profit space on the first floor; city offices on the second, third and fourth floors; and city manager, City Council offices and council meeting chambers on the fifth floor.

McDonald says a reorganization plan would spread some city functions onto the fifth floor, which would require the council to surrender some of its space.

That, in turn, would free up square footage above the first floor for government or nonprofit agencies to lease space. No specific proposal is on the table, McDonald said.

The Puyallup City Hall project has been divisive in the community and on the council itself. Some say the structure overlooking Pioneer Park helped spur downtown redevelopment. Others have called the roughly 40,000 square-foot-building a picture of inefficiency and waste; Deputy Mayor John Knutsen once described it as “an albatross.”

The council previously considered moving the police department or municipal court into City Hall, relocating them from leased space elsewhere in the city. But a consultant last year advised against it, citing space, building code issues and the hefty expense of adapting the building.

Tonight’s study session starts at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, 333 South Meridian.

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