City government needs space; is it affordable?

City of Kingman office complex

Courtesy

City of Kingman office complex

KINGMAN – The city government is busting at the seams, and the solutions aren’t going to come cheap City Council discovered at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Common Council meeting.

Corgan, a major architecture and design firm, gave its $80,000 Space Needs Analysis report at the meeting showing the options the City of Kingman has to overcome its crowdedness. Corgan representatives Stacy Seeyer and John Medcalf told the council during their presentation it can stand still, renovate Palo Christi or build a new complex.

The city currently has 42,500 square feet of space in its decentralized campus that includes the Kingman Police Department. Corgan projects that within 5-10 years, Kingman is going to need 81,000 square feet.

Right now, there isn’t room for growth. This year’s budget contains the addition of two patrol officers to KPD. The department asked for two lieutenants and four officers, but a compromise was reached, according to Mayor Monica Gates. The two new officers won’t be housed at KPD. If all six of the new personnel were approved, KPD chief Robert DeVries said he would have surrendered the department’s conference room to make the space available.

City manager John Dougherty acknowledged there wasn’t funding for new personnel, but he can foresee when more personnel will need to be added to the Building and Life Safety Division with new inspectors.

“The building inspectors will need more people,” Dougherty said. “We’ll have to look at another location for them.”

Medcalf presented a slide that showed price differences for the three options. If the city were to continue to piecemeal its space requirements, then it would still cost at least $16 million in the near future with renovations and leases to the current disconnected campus. That number does not include safety risks and loss of services. A new build would cost $31 million, and rehabilitating Palo Christi School is nearly $33 million.

A viewed upon upside to a new build and the Palo Christi projects is each allows for a public gathering space that could be utilized toward the revitalization of the downtown area.

Palo Christi had also been looked at by the Kingman Boys and Girls Club as a place for it to expand. It is currently housed in the old Mohave County Union High School gymnasium on First Street. However, that plan has temporarily been put aside.

“At this time, the board of directors has decided to put this project on hold,” said Boys and Girls Club CEO Bill Ward. “After much deliberation the board does not feel that the club has enough public support to make this project a reality. The club remains committed to its strategic growth plan to serve our community’s teen population as well as serving more youth. As the political confrontations settle, the board will consider reevaluating our position.”

No action on space was taken at the council meeting, but Councilman Stuart Yocum placed further discussions on the agenda for the next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Mohave County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.