Mayor under tight time frame for city hall expansion

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A renovation and expansion project will soon add an additional 25-thousand square feet to the existing Jonesboro City Hall.

The mayor says the city is working with a sense of urgency to make it happen before December of next year.

"We're on time right now but we can't waste anytime," said Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin.

For Perrin, the time frame is short. "We've sold the Huntington building," said Perrin. In less than two years, the city departments that now work out of the Huntington Building will have to get out.

"It's twenty-one months, something like that, and it's going to take some time the way city government works you have to put out these proposals , you have to interview them," said Perrin.

It's an extensive process that Perrin hopes to fit in a tight time frame. A spatial study was conducted earlier this year to figure out the best option for the city.

"It showed very clearly that we need to add at least 25-thousand square feet onto the existing city hall," said Perrin.

The idea is to expand and renovate the current city hall out to Jefferson Street. Now, the city is at work to close on the property located directly behind city hall. It's an expansion, Perrin says, will improve the efficiency and flow of operations.

"As the Mayor, what I'm looking forward to is having everyone here so I can immediately have them all into a conference room very quickly. We can sit down and talk about it and then move on to the next item. As to now, where we have to wait or maybe have to book it for the next day," said Perrin.

The expansion will also serve as a one stop shop for residents. "They can come here and do everything they need to do, whether it's a permit, whatever," said Perrin.

With the spatial study complete and preliminary plans already drawn up, Perrin says the next step is to hire an architect and finalize plans to send out bids for construction. "It's a long process but at least we've started," said Perrin.

Perrin hopes to land an architect within then the next few weeks because construct could take up to 15 months. He says from there, that's when the real work will begin.

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