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The Municipal Building has stood on Ashley Pond since 1967, but council decided Tuesday night to have it demolished because of structural problems.“There’s no reason the building should still be there,” structural engineer John A. Martin said. Martin is the seismic expert who assessed the building for the design firm hired by the county to look at the Municipal Building.Before the engineering report from the Hartman Majewski Design Group was submitted to the county on Jan. 11, there had been some doubt expressed by members of the public and the council regarding the fragile condition of the structure.The report showed both vertical and lateral load deficiencies, and recommended a complete overhaul of the building if it were to be saved, at a cost of $23,816,360. The cost to replace the building is currently estimated at $27,101,180.Project manager Steven Huebner listed several advantages of new construction over renovation.“It eliminates the functional obsolescence of an old building, it eliminates the unknowns of remodeling, it increases flexibility with the judicial complex and it reduces longevity risks,” Huebner said.Council accepted the engineering report, and agreed in a 6-to-0 vote that the Municipal Building should be replaced rather than renovated.
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