JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Moving day is quickly approaching forthe City of Jonesboro and its employees.
Works has almost wrapped up on most of the new MunicipalCenter, located downtown at 300 S. Church Street.
The biggest change to the building's exterior is the newsign and expanded sidewalks, but that's nothing compared to the significantupgrades made inside.
"I'm anticipating by October – first of October – everyone shouldbe in this building and have one-stop shopping," Mayor Harold Perrin said.
The City of Jonesboro will have many of its departmentsmoved in well before then.
Crews began working in December 2012 to convert theMercantile Center downtown into the new City Hall. The renovation and constructionprojects have gone faster than expected.
"In fact we're ahead of schedule right now about 10 workingdays, which is two weeks," Perrin said.
Works stripped the building's ground floor basically to thestuds and have since redesigned it. The offices for human resources, city clerkand collections are set to move into that new space next week.
"Our IT department will start moving computers and serversprobably 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 daysprobably to all move in from the Washington location to here."
Mayor Perrin, his staff and the financial department willalso relocate next week to the top floor, which has panoramic views of downtownJonesboro.
"I think I can speak for the employees. They're very excitedabout this move, and I think the citizens will be too once they see thebuilding," Perrin said.
The building's third floor still has to be vacated of itscurrent occupants and be remodeled to house the city's engineering, inspectionsand planning departments.
Those employees should be able to move into the new buildinglater this summer – likely around the same time the new City Council chambershould 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 councilmeeting in that area probably sometime in either the last of July or the firstof 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 tomake all these improvements, but Perrin says the project has slightly exceededthat budget.
He argues that the extra expense will be worth it in the endand plans to share more concrete figures with the public in the coming months.