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West Jordan Journal

Inside the West Jordan City Hall remodel

Sep 08, 2022 12:46PM ● By Erin Dixon

In 2021 West Jordan City Hall got a face-lift. This year the improvements are more than cosmetic.

$10,030,000 has been set aside for the whole project. In the end, the whole cost may not be needed but should not cost the city anymore.

“The contractor (Bud Mahas Construction) that we chose is well known for no price increases and known for almost always being on schedule,” West Jordan Finance Director Danyce Steck said. 

“We don’t anticipate any change orders or increases, but there is some contingency there.”

Funding for the model is “being paid from with one-time capital projects funds,” Steck said. “These funds are the cumulation of savings between budget and actual spending in the general fund. Each year, this savings is transferred to the capital projects fund to be used on special one-time projects.

“The building is 30 years old and there’s never been a major remodel,” Public Services Director Isaac Astill said. 

Marie Magers, public information manager for the city, said when the building was completed in 1993, the suggested remodel date was in 20 years, or at least when the population doubled.  

“It has tripled,” she said. 

The plans for the current building began in 1978. Needs and wants changed over the years as different mayors and chief operating officers came and went. 

“The interior design changed two full times, but the shell stayed the same,” Astill said. “We’re finding a lot of quality control issues from when it was built. It’s a remodel but some of it ends up being a rebuild because of the issues we find when we open it up.”

To start, the surrounding exterior wall of the building had no insulation. 

“We’re making it more energy efficient,” Astill said. “One of the challenges we’ve had is it’s too hot, or cold, we couldn’t balance the building.” 

Some posts in large rooms appeared to support the structure, but underneath were only held by a few inches of concrete. “There’s two areas we’re putting additional bracing,” Astill said. “There’s a lot of quality control issues.”

Fire codes will also be brought up to date. There was a place in the IT (Information Technology) Department where cords and wiring were clumped together and shoved into the ceiling. The emergency shut off was in the middle of the control room, which would have required someone to run through flames to shut the system down if there was an electrical fire. 

Departments will be in different locations with added security. Almost every office was accessible through a backdoor. Besides the main entrances to the departments, there will be key locks on interior doors. 

Security was a problem even for elected officials. They shared bathrooms with the public during council meetings. 

“As an elected official they have a lot of unfortunate conversations,” Astill said. “When they take a break and go to the bathroom, those people want to confront them in awkward places.”

Along with a major remodel of council chambers, there will be separate, key-access only rooms and bathrooms for the council.

The whole remodel is expected to be done late spring of 2023. Until then, most employees are working from home, or the Public Works building. City Council meetings are held in the Justice Center, just south of City Hall.  λ