The city of North Bend broke ground on their new City Hall development on May 15, marking the first step toward development for the long-awaited project.
The new building, which will be located next to the city’s public works shop at 1155 East North Bend Way, has been in the works for more than two decades. North Bend’s current City Hall building is more than 70 years old and has safety issues from years of deterioration as well as access issues for people with disabilities.
At the groundbreaking, North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing spoke about the work that went into the planning of this project and thanked the staff and elected officials for all of the work that was put in to make the project a reality.
“This has been a long time coming,” Hearing said. “A new City Hall has been in the works for more than 25 years and I can honestly say, I didn’t expect it to ever happen. Yet, here we are today, ready to begin construction. I’m so pleased and overwhelmed with joy that in a year from now, we will be in our new facility.”
Community Development Director David Miller said that space has been a problem for the city as well. North Bend has had departments working out of a handful of buildings around the downtown area of the city because there isn’t enough room for everyone to work in one building. By centralizing the departments under one roof, workflow will improve and it will provide the public a more convenient experience when they come to City Hall, he said.
The building will also have a lobby area with designed for public events and could potentially be rented out to other community groups as a meeting space. New council chambers with improved audio and video capabilities will also be included in the building.
According to a staff report from the May 15 North Bend City Council meeting, the new City Hall is estimated to cost about $6,736,650. Skyward Construction is leading the project and work is scheduled to begin in June. The project is funded through various sources including city savings reserved specifically for a new city hall, utility funds, income from sale of surplus real estate, and real estate excise tax. The city said no new taxes will be created for funding this project.
Miller said the construction crews goal is for the building to be “weather-tight” by October and hopes that the project will be complete by June 2019, one year after work begins.
“(The building) reflects who we are as a city and gives the public the kind of facility they want to go into,” he said.