City Council approves initial design for new Lake Oswego City Hall
Lake Oswego city councilors voted Tuesday night to approve the latest round of design schematics for a new downtown City Hall.
The council heard short presentations from Deputy City Manager Jordan Wheeler and Mackenzie Senior Associate Architect Thomas Peck before unanimously approving the design, which is now at a 30 percent completion mark.
Wheeler, Peck and the rest of Mackenzie's design team also shared the latest concepts last week for residents who gathered in the council chambers, walking the group through schematics for the 53,000-square-foot space. The biggest improvement, Wheeler told both groups, is that the new City Hall will be built to "essential facility" standards in terms of sesmic resilience.
That means that in the event of an earthquake, City Hall could be reopened and occupied quickly — an essential need given that the Lake Oswego Police Department and its LOCOM emergency dispatch center will be housed inside.
"We're going from 39,000 square feet to 53,000. That's going to give police a little more elbow room, which is definitely needed," Wheeler said, adding that the LOPD will also gain access to a secure, underground parking facility for its emergency vehicles. "But again, the big benefit of this building is the seismic resilience at an 'essential facility' standard."
Mackenzie's design aims to reflect the civic nature of the building, according to Peck. The roof will feature as many solar panels as possible to meet the City's Sustainability Action Plan requirement that at least 1.5 percent of its energy come from a renewable source, and the entire project is being deisgned to meet the LEED Gold standard.
The building will feature three stories of office space on top of the secure parking for the LOPD. The police department will be located on the first floor, which will be partially underground at the A Avenue elevation. Other City departments and services will be arranged on the second and third floors, with most of the public-oriented areas of the building — such as the council chambers and municipal court — located along the north and west sides of the building.
"This layout allows visitors a lot of visual access to these public elements of the building along A Avenue, which creates a stronger downtown presence and provides visual access to government function and transparency," Peck said.
Retail space for the Arts Council and Booktique, totalling about 2,700 square feet, will also be located along A Avenue.
In addition to wide expanses of glass, Mackenzie plans to incorporate plenty of wood and stone in the building's design, Peck said. "Whether it's wood or not, it's going to be low maintenance," he added. "Glazing is important, especially on the northern side, to provide visual access to City Hall."
According to Wheeler, current estimates put the cost of the new building at $41.8 million. That figure includes a 10 percent contingency to fund Phase 2 of the project, which would include the demolition of the old City Hall and construction of a staff parking lot and a public parking lot, as well as a small civic plaza area.
Wheeler said City staff is working with Mackenzie to identify ways to close the gap between the expected cost and the original estimate of $40 million.
"Right now in the cost estimate, we're assuming we're carrying a 10 percent contingency for the overall project," Wheeler said. "That's calculated on everything: construction, soft costs, permits, fees, design fees, all of that. So when you add up the construction costs and estimated soft costs, we're at just under $42 million when you include that 10 percent."
At Tuesday's council meeting, Councilor Jeff Gudman pointed out that much of the increase in space will benefit the police department. According to Wheeler, each floor of the three-story building is about 17,500 square feet, nearly doubling the police department's footprint in the current building.
Councilor Joe Buck asked Wheeler if there will be any additional training space for police officers in the new building, considering the council also approved a lease for offsite training space Tuesday evening. Wheeler said there will be room for adminstrative training and lecture-style coursework for police in the new community room, but the LOPD will still require space for physical conditioning and combat-type training.
According to Wheeler, the City hopes to break ground on the project in June or July 2019, with completion expected in the spring of 2021.