MADEIRA BEACH — It is looking more and more like the city has no choice but to build a new City Hall and fire station, at a potential cost of $5 million to $6 million.
Tuesday, Wannemacher Jensen Architects will show the City Commission conceptual drawings for a new municipal complex and suggest options to limit construction costs.
"It could well be in the $5 to $6 million range, but there are lots of ways to cut that cost," City Manager Shane Crawford said Friday.
This month the commission learned that repairing the 47-year-old building would cost at least $3 million — not including the cost of meeting Federal Emergency Management Agency reconstruction rules.
The federal government requires any building — residential, commercial or public — to be elevated or otherwise flood-proofed if the cost of repairs exceed 50 percent of the original value of the building.
The City Hall and fire complex is valued at $1.6 million, according to Pinellas County Property Appraiser.
Crawford confirmed Friday that repairing the building is not an option, given the FEMA rules.
"It is time for a new building, but we are not in a panic about this. The building is not going to fall down tomorrow," Crawford said.
It is badly deteriorating, however, with constant water leaks and mold caused by a roof and windows that are long past needing replacement.
The leaks have, in turn, severely damaged many of the building's mechanical systems, including electrical and air conditioning.
And if that is not enough, the building has termites and asbestos that would need to be removed.
Needed repairs include a new roof, replacement of all mechanical systems, exterior caulking and sealing, new doors and windows, new overhead doors for the Fire Department, and all new flooring.
According to Mark Stalker, vice president of Hennessy Construction Services, it would cost at least $800,000 to fix the most critical issues.
A complete renovation would cost at least $3 million, Stalker said, and even then would only last 10 or 15 years.
The special workshop with the architectural firm is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, but Crawford said the meeting may be rescheduled for the following week if the area is hit by Isaac.