ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — People who live in Zephyrhills can get a look inside the new, $6.2 million city hall on Tuesday, November 27. The city is holding an open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- New ZephyrHills City Hall replaces 1950s-era building
- Has more space, plus room to grow
“It’s just an accomplishment,” said City Manager Steve Spina. “We all worked together and we all got here, and I just think it’s a great testament to the city. This will be here, hopefully, 100 years.”
The building was under construction for more than a year following the demolition of the former city hall. Spina said that building was built in the 1950s.
While it was renovated in the 1990s to accommodate growth, he said that wasn’t an option this time around.
“As we grew, we outgrew the building. And it was old. We had leaks. We had mice and other issues,” Spina said. “In the old city hall, our conference room was basically in the break room. We would actually do job interviews in there.”
The new structure is 19,000 sq. feet, up from the former building’s 12,000 sq. ft. Spina said it has automatic lighting and upgraded thermostats to help save on energy costs. There’s also cameras and some parts of the building have to be accessed by keypad for increased security.
Changes visitors will notice include larger waiting areas for people who come to pay utility bills and private rooms where they can discuss issues with billing. The new city council chambers can seat 80, and there are televisions to help attendees see presentations.
“We used to actually project maps and power points off the wall in the other chambers,” said Spina. “So, this is much more attuned to audio/visuals and getting everybody to be able to participate better.”
Employees were also able to give their input during the design phase. Spina said evidence of this is a shared space between the planning and building departments, which often work together on projects.
Spina said staff began working in the new building at the beginning of October. There’s still some final work that needs to be done both inside and out, like painting and adding signage. He said the new building also has some extra room to grow.
“I think it reflects the growth of the city, that we have more employees to deal with more of the growth," Spina said. "We have a lot of development going on, a lot of road projects.”
A ribbon cutting will be held during the open house.