F.C. Council Mulls Options To Renovate or Replace City Hall

Photo: News-Press
Photo: News-Press

The Falls Church City Council took a first crack at mulling options aimed at badly needed improvements to City Hall, especially for public safety needs.

The 50-year old building, which was expanded to its current size 30 years ago, has court services crammed together with its police department and the full range of government services in 41,000 square feet. The Council has already authorized deployment of funding to address City Hall needs, but only now is beginning to consider practical options.

Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester presented an overview of two options, one a renovation of the current facility at a cost of $11.7 million over three years, the other a rear down of the current building and construction of a new one at a cost of $26 million. Both options would expand the size of the building to 50,000 square feet.

An option for the tear-down approach would be to add a fourth floor and boost the square footage to 88,0000 square feet at a cost of $37 million. That option could accommodate the relocation of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library to City Hall, across the street from its current location.

The library is also in desperate need of a renovation or rebuild at a cost of about $18 million without any parking. So, it may be most cost effective to combine the City Hall and library into a single project, as the Council considered tonight.

The Council just began to consider these options tonight. Mester will make a more detailed presentation of the options to the City’s Planning Commission next week.