By Laura Kinsler | Tribune Staff Laura Kinsler on Google+
Published: February 15, 2015
DADE CITY — So what will the new police and city hall complex have that Dade City doesn’t have now?
“Pretty much everything,” Police Chief Ray Velboom said.
The city’s Development Review Committee gave its final approval last week to the building plans for the 21,000-square-foot complex, which will be located at the corner of Meridian Avenue and Fifth Street and cover nearly two city blocks.
The city has tentatively scheduled a groundbreaking on its new $6 million municipal complex for the morning of March 6. Construction should take about a year.
St. Petersburg architect Lisa Wannemacher has tweaked the design from its original concept, which commissioners thought was too contemporary looking. A large glass atrium and aluminum canopy were swapped for a more traditional design with an open courtyard and pergola between the two buildings.
“This design really puts the focus on the commission chamber,” City Engineer Gordon Onderdonk said.
The new chamber will seat 190 people and feature an enormous bay window facing Meridian Avenue.
City Manager Billy Poe said Ajax Construction will demolish the city hall annex after it completes the asbestos removal. All city staff will vacate the building by March 4, and commissioners will meet at the Moore-Mickens Education Center during construction.
Utility payments will be relocated to the annex building next to the existing police station. Contractors razed the old City Hall building in 2013, and most city officials have been operating in the old train depot building since then. Police detectives, analysts and K-9 officers will work out of the police academy at Pasco-Hernando State College for the time being.
“It’s going to be great to have everyone under one roof finally,” Poe said. Chamber of Commerce Director John Moors said the new city hall is not only going to add value to downtown. “It also sends a very clear message that Dade City is very bullish on Dade City,” he said. “The city is putting millions of dollars into new infrastructure, so it’s a good place for businesses to invest.”