caption

Seguin Gazette: Former Seguin Motor Co. building ready to reopen as new city offices

With the next few months, several city departments will soon have a place to call their own.

By mid-summer, the building that once housed Seguin Motors will officially open as the new Seguin Development Services Center, a project that’s been two years in the making.

Seguin City Council and city staff met on Tuesday to tour the facility that is expected to house activities such as building inspections, permits and codes, health inspection, city engineering activities, capital projects management, project inspectors and associated staff.

Director of Planning and Codes Pamela Centeno took city staff through the building — which lacked flooring, paint and other details — to see where certain offices will be, what the lobby is expected to look like and to talk about other features the building will have.

“Right now we’re spread across all three levels at city hall so we literally have offices in the basement area and kind of open hallway areas,” Centeno said. “Our area for receiving customers is not as customer-friendly oriented as we want it to be on the second floor.”

With the new building, customers will have the luxury of a lobby where they can wait until it is there turn to talk with city staff, Centeno said.

“We’ll have chairs here for customers to wait up here. Hopefully, they’ll be able to form a line versus standing in a hallway. It makes it easier,” she said. “We’re going to have what we call a loft wall. They’re like screens, but nice screens. So instead of building little meeting areas, we decided to bring the loft wall in.”

If someone has a quick question, a staff member will have the ability to step behind the loft wall with them where there will be monitors to pull up zoning maps or permits, Centeno said.

“The goal is to try to keep the public in the front for security purposes,” she said. “We’ll also have a private meeting room for somebody coming in to have a discussion privately on more sensitive issues.”

A second conference room toward the back of the facility is planned for city staff to meet, Centeno said.

“One of the things we looked at when we were laying out the design was security from the standpoint of the public,” she said. “This conference room in the back is a staff conference room so that when we’re having internal meetings we can keep the conference room up at the front open for the public.”

The staff’s development meetings also will take place at the new center once it’s open. Because of the lack of space, they’ve had to use the conference rooms at the Seguin Utility Operations Center, City Manager Doug Faseler said.

The 10,000-square-feet building will also include several offices, cubicle space and a common area for staff.

“The building, because of the shape that it’s in, we couldn’t fit a hallway and a third row of offices so we came up with a common area,” Centeno said.

“Staff is frequently meeting in the common areas we already have talking about cases where a lot of us are involved in … so this is a way that instead of being in someone’s office, we’re going to have a place to roll out a plan in an open area.”

Seguin City Engineer Dave Rabago, whose office will be in the building, called the Development Services Center a multi-purpose building that will serve several different needs of those in the community all at once.

“It creates a one-stop shop, meaning the contractor or developer can just come to this building and get all their questions answered or any concerns that need to be addressed without having to go between floors,” he said.

Faseler added that it’s a space that will allow for future staff growth.

City Council approved the center’s design, which was created by TSG Architects, in August 2017.

While the design was approved in 2017, City Council decided to hold off on approving the project costs and professional services agreement with TSG Architects.

In April 2018, the costs of $272,000 with TSG Architects were approved. 

In September 2018, the construction contract was awarded to The Koehler Company for $1,772,475, which included some demolition, roof repairs, renovations to the existing building, construction of office spaces, IT installation, new mechanical, plumbing, and electrical and restoration to the exterior facade.

The building is slated to open to the public by mid-summer. 

 

See original story from Seguin Gazette at: http://seguingazette.com/news/article_02b2b9c4-4b69-11e9-8356-ab1c706583c6.html
Valerie Bustamante is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at valerie.bustamante@seguingazette.com.