Renovations progressing on new Jonesboro City Hall - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Renovations progressing on new Jonesboro City Hall

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Moving day is quickly approaching for the City of Jonesboro and its employees.

Works has almost wrapped up on most of the new Municipal Center, located downtown at 300 S. Church Street.

The biggest change to the building's exterior is the new sign and expanded sidewalks, but that's nothing compared to the significant upgrades made inside.

"I'm anticipating by October – first of October – everyone should be in this building and have one-stop shopping," Mayor Harold Perrin said.

The City of Jonesboro will have many of its departments moved in well before then.

Crews began working in December 2012 to convert the Mercantile Center downtown into the new City Hall. The renovation and construction projects have gone faster than expected.

"In fact we're ahead of schedule right now about 10 working days, which is two weeks," Perrin said.

Works stripped the building's ground floor basically to the studs and have since redesigned it. The offices for human resources, city clerk and collections are set to move into that new space next week.

"Our IT department will start moving computers and servers probably the night of [May 14], and then we'll start moving some [departments] the 15 and some the 16," the mayor said. "It'll take us two days probably to all move in from the Washington location to here."

Mayor Perrin, his staff and the financial department will also relocate next week to the top floor, which has panoramic views of downtown Jonesboro.

"I think I can speak for the employees. They're very excited about this move, and I think the citizens will be too once they see the building," Perrin said.

The building's third floor still has to be vacated of its current occupants and be remodeled to house the city's engineering, inspections and planning departments.

Those employees should be able to move into the new building later this summer – likely around the same time the new City Council chamber should be completed, too.

"We're way ahead of our schedule on our new council chamber," Perrin said. "I would anticipate that we'll probably have our first council meeting in that area probably sometime in either the last of July or the first of August. We might beat that, but I'm going to tell you sometime around July."

The city initially set out to spend about $2.7 million to make all these improvements, but Perrin says the project has slightly exceeded that budget.

He argues that the extra expense will be worth it in the end and plans to share more concrete figures with the public in the coming months.

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