A $1.8 million construction project to double the size of the Falls Church city hall is expected to begin next month after the City Council selects a builder Monday.
Quarters are so cramped in city hall now that employes are doubled up in "half the space of any sensible office standard, and it's too noisy to work," said Robert Hubbell, vice mayor and chairman of an ad hoc committee working on the planned addition. Hubbell said the city has run out of office space, forcing 20 employes to work in rented offices outside city hall.
"Now it's difficult for employes to even find space to talk with anybody from the public," Hubbell said. "There is no conference room and we really have to scramble to find space for committee meetings. The addition is long overdue."
The council is scheduled to select a builder at its meeting Monday, two weeks after it passed a resolution authorizing city officials to issue general-obligation bonds for $1.2 million of the project's cost. The remaining $600,000 will come from city funds.
The new 23,000-square-foot city hall wing will house the police department in the basement, where five cells and 14 police offices are planned. City revenue, treasury and utilities departments will be on the first floor and general administration staff offices on the second floor. In the sub-basement of the two-story structure, an exercise room for city employes is planned, in addition to storage space.
Construction of the new wing is expected to begin in June and take about one year to complete, Hubbell said. Then the entire city staff will move into the addition for six months while the old 19,000-square-foot city hall is remodeled.
At Monday's meeting, the council also is scheduled to consider tightening an amusement-arcade ordinance by limiting the areas in which arcades may be located in the future. Under the ordinance, no arcade would be allowed within 1,000 feet of a school or church, or within 100 feet of a residential area.