Committee examines Marshall municipal building issues

Photo by Deb Gau Members of Marshall city task force examine the concrete floor inside the municipal building garage on Thursday.

MARSHALL — It’s been about three years since a Marshall city task force examined the municipal building on Main Street. But the problems the task force was formed to deal with — leaks, deteriorating concrete, an aging boiler — are still there.

Now, members of a new municipal building review committee, including Marshall city staff, council members, and local residents, are reviving discussion of what to do with city hall.

Most of a Thursday committee meeting was a review session for new members.

“This is not the first time we’ve put a group together,” said Marshall City Council member John DeCramer. However, the committee plans to meet again in early September to move the discussion forward.

Committee members took a tour of the municipal building to learn about its issues, and got copies of earlier building studies. The building dates from the 1960s. While it is structurally sound, city staff said, a concrete slab that used to make up the floor of the old city police and fire garage is deteriorating from years of salt and water exposure. Small pieces of the slab are still crumbling off in the basement level of the building, city staff said.

Other issues with the building include a lack of ADA accessibility, leaking windows and plumbing, and problems with the heating and air conditioning systems.

A city task force that discussed the building problems back in 2014 had recommended the city renovate the building. Some actions were taken, like replacing the building’s roof, but not a full renovation.

City staff said group members will have to re-examine some of the questions the 2014 group dealt with, like whether to renovate the existing city hall, or move somewhere else. Interim City Administrator Sheila Dubs said an internal city committee had also reviewed building possibilities, plus space needs and “really draft” estimates of what renovation could cost.

Dubs said the internal committee’s top recommendations were renovating and moving into the old County Fair building, moving into part of the Wells Fargo bank building on Main Street, or renovating both the current city hall space and the former Marshall Hotel space next door.

There are lots of other factors that the new building review committee will need to consider. Committee member Ron Halgerson said an important one was the fact that it’s not possible to do major renovations on city hall without temporarily moving city offices elsewhere. That would take additional space and funding.

Marshall Community Services Director Scott VanDerMillen said another possibility to consider was space needs at the Marshall Adult Community Center. The center may need to expand in the next three to five years, and the city may want to think about having a shared facility with the municipal building.