Upgrades at The Round to be complete in next few months

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Charles A. Potter and Marcos Maldonado of Portland Codings prime the walls of the mayor's office on the fifth floor of what will soon be the new City Hall on three floors of the South Office Building at The Round.Any shortcomings Beaverton’s upcoming new City Hall may have, it won’t be for lack of input from city staff and leaders.

Numerous ideas, opinions, preferences and points of view were considered during the planning of floors one, four and five at the South Office Building at The Round at Beaverton Central — what will soon be the city’s administrative home.

“We met with every department head multiple times during the design and development stages,” said Jerry Allen, the city’s assistant director of project services. “I had to explain we only have X amount (of dollars and space). We don’t have X plus.

“I have no trouble saying no,” he explained. “I’ve done that most of my career.”

Allen serves as the project manager for the massive undertaking of transferring the city’s administrative offices from its longtime home at 4755 S.W. Griffith Drive to the five-story office building it owns at 12725 S.W. Millikan Way. If renovations of the space remain on schedule, all non-police and court-oriented services — and 300 employees in the current City Hall — will be relocated and functioning out of the new space by late August or early September.

The city’s police department and municipal court facilities will remain at the three-story Griffith Drive building. Pending the passage of a public bond measure this fall, that structure could be remodeled and retrofitted as the city’s new Public Safety Building.

In an effort to lessen impacts to the city budget for the project — whose total budget comes to $5.7 million — about 90 percent of existing City Hall furniture and fixtures will be moved and used in the new building, Allen noted. To accommodate the non-linear shape of the South Office Building’s floors, the City Council approved purchasing new cubicle systems for a total of $496,000. Cubicles, furniture and fixtures — including white boards, screens and projectors — unsuitable for the new space will be left behind for the public safety building or other jurisdictions and nonprofit groups.

“Our goal is to have nothing go to waste,” Allen said. by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Construction workers keep busy in the employee café room on the fourth floor of the new City Hall at the South Office Building at The Round.

Open for business

Some of the new purchases result from the City Hall steering committee’s interest in creating an open-office environment. Features include lower cubicle walls to maximize natural light flow from windows and moving private offices away from exterior walls to provide more employees with window views.

The design helps qualify the renovated building for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.

“The existing cubes with their high walls didn’t fit in the new environment and wouldn’t have provided the basis for achieving a Silver or Gold LEED rating for the new space, which was a goal of the mayor and council,” Allen said. “We needed to leverage the more efficient footprints of the new cube designs to have enough space to create the interactive department layouts we desired.”

To execute the less than 1-mile move, the city is coordinating with Lile North American Moving & Storage to transport items to The Round. The company secured a final bid with the city for just under $60,000.

“That extra planning with Lile reduced our actual moving costs by 70 percent from the original budget estimate we had received from other sources,” Allen said.

Vishnu Jhaveri, project engineer with Lease Crutcher Lewis, lead contractor on the renovation project, said he’s worked closely with city officials to keep the project well within budget constraints.

“Every time we were budgeting something, there was a public bid,” he said. “We would get seven, eight, nine bids in the scope. I’m really happy we got a number of bids from (sub)contractors to give the city the best value.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Construction workers work on cable trays on the fourth floor of the new City Hall in the South Office Building at The Round.

Taking shape

The three floors being prepared for the new City Hall are in a mostly skeletal state as of late May. On floors four and five, metal framing and drywall delineate upcoming features such as the mayor’s office, an employee break room — both with panoramic views of the city — conference rooms, and public service windows for the finance, utility billing and building-permit departments.

Floors two and three are mostly occupied with income-generating tenants for the city, including local offices for 1st District U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici on the second floor and Executive Suites offices on the third.

On the high-ceilinged first floor, newly poured concrete slabs outline where the horseshoe-shaped City Council dais will take shape. Besides the council’s chambers, offices and audience area — comparably sized to the Griffith Drive space — the ground floor will house the city’s printing, as well as solid waste and recycling services.

A public lobby will be situated behind the building’s main entrance, which faces the recently completed South Plaza and “Three Creeks, One Will” sculpture.

Building renovation work got underway the first week of April.

“We are on schedule right now,” Jhaveri said, explaining the demolition-clearing-construction cycle. “We’re working our way down the floors — five to four to one.”

Lorraine Clarno, chief executive officer of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, is among those looking forward to the economic benefits of a building that accommodates 300 new workers and attracts a steady stream of public traffic.

“We are excited to see the general administrative employees and mayor’s office locate soon in the South Office Building at The Round,” she said. “The energy and foot traffic generated by the employees and all of us who frequent City Hall to do business is going to bring a vibrancy to the area and certainly increase business.

“We are starting to see our core downtown get busy.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Construction workers build frames in the new City Council Chambers of the upcoming City Hall at the South Office Building at The Round.

About The Round

The shuffling of Beaverton City Hall, designed to ease crowding and safety concerns at the current Griffith Drive building, results from a complex deal the city's Community and Economic Development Department, under the direction of former director Don Mazziotti, finalized with Portland-based ScanlanKemperBard Companies in early 2012.

The city, which owns and operates the Central Plant in the South Office Building's first floor, supplying The Round with heating, cooling and hot water, bought the building for $8.65 million. The move brought the city out from under an annual $400,000 lease arrangement to the building's former owner.

SKB purchased other Round properties, including parking lots and the office building housing 24-Hour Fitness, and initiated parking lot and landscaping improvement projects. The developer also agreed to remove close to $1 million of the city's debt burden former developers at the complex left behind.

With space, efficiency, and safety problems accumulating at City Hall on Griffith Drive, the council decided moving administrative offices to the South Office Building — anchored by Coldwell Banker real estate until it moved out in late 2012 — was the most prudent solution. After considering several options to accommodate police and courts, including rebuilding on the Griffith Drive site, the council opted to retrofit and expand the building, which was designed for an insurance company in the early 1990s.

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