Oak Creek Mulls Concepts for City Hall, Library
Construction on a new library and city hall in the Drexel Town Square development is expected to commence next year.
As work continues to attract tenants to the Drexel Town Square project, which aims to create a new downtown for Oak Creek on the former Delphi site, officials on Tuesday presented concepts for another component of the development: a new city hall and library.
Architects are still designing the buildings, but on Tuesday presented three options to aldermen on how the facilities could be laid out. The concepts generally link the buildings in some way, both directly (a bridge-type structure and atrium being two possibilities), and indirectly (shared outdoor space).
Concepts also included a clock tower feature to make it visible from Drexel and Howell avenues, as well as underground parking for city vehicles.
"Very preliminary; we're just kind of going through the schematics studies and working through some concepts," said Steve Kuhnen of Bray Archtects, the firm designing the facilities.
Officials say they are now planning both buildings to be two stories. The library previously said they preferred a one-story building for efficiency purposes, but the site is apparently set up better for two-story buildings.
"Once we started actually thinking about the site and how everything would work together on the site, we realized a one-story library really wasn't going to work as well as a two-story," Library Director Jill Lininger said. "The library is perfectly fine with investigating a two-story. We have some ideas in mind of how we can go about mitigating the staff needs and making sure everything still works as efficiently as we originally thought it would be on a one-story building."
The library is expected to be 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, while city hall will be 20,000 to 25,000 square feet. The facilities are now 14,000 square feet and 16,000 square feet, respectively.
The library and city hall are slated to be built in the center of the development near the town square. Plans show apartments on the west end, a "Main Street" with shops leading to the town square in the middle, and restaurants and retail on the east side.
The Common Council next year will approve design plans for the city hall and library. Construction is also expected to commence in 2013.
The team of people working through the design phase of the project is focused on how to best serve residents, said Steve Chamberlin, the owner's representative for the city.
"There's very strong commitment and a good understanding of the importance of this being a public project," he said, "and the importance of it meeting the needs of the client, which is the public."