Friday, January 13, 2012
Business as usual.
City Hall is back to that status now that the remodeling project at 201 State St. is, save a few small details, complete.
At Monday's open house, about 25 people took a tour of the renovated building, where the city consolidated its administrative building, formerly at 301 Oak St., on the upper floor, with the police department in the basement.
Changes on the outside from Second Street are subtle: new doorways (and handicapped access) on the main entrance, a new awning over the police department entrance, and masonry that was cleaned and repaired last summer.
More obvious changes are visible from the State Street side, with windows and public and staff entrances installed where a blank wall used to be and a single entrance for police staff.
The police department moved back into the basement last fall after that section of the building was completed, in phase one. Crews then renovated the upstairs, where the large conference room was turned into offices for planning and other departments. The cramped main foyer was opened to provide comfortable access to all departments, including planning, billing, and municipal court, and a new entry to the courtroom that uses double doors that were previously blocked off.
On Monday, project manager Gene Wellman and president Ken Triplett of general Triplett Construction inspected the doorway to the municipal court/council chambers and saw where the woodwork still needed work.
"We're finding some little details that won't cost us much, things we're seeing that probably could be cleaned up," Wellman said.
"I think they did a lot for their money," he said of the $985,000 project, completed in the last two weeks of 2011.
"They did a lot of value engineering ideas. Overall it flows really nice, the colors are nice, and that was the city's (staff) selecting them," Triplett said.
"They kept the character, with the wood trim, not many changes outside other than fixing some things that weren't working."
"There's a lot of older buildings being remodeled, a lot of character with them. They just don't build buildings like this one anymore. Aesthetically, like this one, they're nice structures."
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge