City Hall lobby work progresses with contract

June 17, 1997


Staff Writer

Four years after setting aside money to renovate City Hall's lobby, the Hagerstown City Council finally approved an architectural contract for the job on Tuesday.

The contract was delayed because city officials and staff members ran into disagreements over how the renovations should look, said Councilman William M. Breichner in a recent interview.

There remains some disagreement.

The three veteran council members - Breichner, Lewis C. Metzner and Susan Saum-Wicklein - and newly elected Councilman Alfred W. Boyer agree with staff's proposed renovation, although Boyer said he wants to see more specific architectural plans.


Newly elected Councilman J. Wallace McClure said he prefers a grander plan.

"I have to respect the decisions that have already been made in the past," McClure said in a recent interview.

"I am disappointed right now."

The city staff is proposing a staggered straight customer service counter that would be pushed back to add 304 square feet to the lobby.

McClure said he wants to see the lobby restored to its original 1940 grandeur with chandeliers and a large waiting area that allows all the arched doorways on the East Franklin Street side to be used.

The original lobby included 870 square feet, compared with the current 360 square feet.

The space could be used to display collections, photography or art projects by local citizens and students, McClure said.

"I think it would help instill this community pride that I think is sorely lacking here," he said.

McClure said most of the offices behind the customer service counter should be moved, either to the fifth floor or to the neighboring city-owned building on East Franklin Street.

City Engineer Bruce Johnston said none of the elevators goes to the fifth floor, so the offices would not be handicap-accessible.

Another elevator could be installed, said McClure.

Work on the renovation is expected to begin in the fall and be complete by the end of next April, Johnston said.

The contract went to Proffitt Pryor & Associates, of Frederick, Md.

The contract is not supposed to exceed $10,700, Johnston said. He said $5,000 of the original $102,000 budgeted for the project has been spent so far.

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