Lincoln City Hall – 2018 Downtown Design Assistance Program Project
Anyone who has attended a city council meeting in Lincoln in recent years will understand that the tight and cramped council room is in desperate need of expansion. Another important issue has been to improve the building’s ADA accessibility. The interns were able to meet with the city council to discuss various options for solving the building’s problems.
Option 1 – Install an elevator to utilize existing finished second-floor space as the new council room
- Benefits include utilizing space that is currently unused, major storage spaces in the building are still available, the location of the elevator requires minimal alteration the building’s structure, occupancy codes are more closely met, room for staff to expand their workspace into the current council room, and the option does not require new HVAC or mechanical systems.
- The con is that some storage space will be lost due to the elevator and its mechanical equipment.
Option 2 – Convert the first floor garage space into the new council room
- Benefits include the council room remaining on the first floor, no need for an elevator in the building, room for staff to expand their workspace into the current council room.
- The cons to this option include that the second floor space is still unusable for most needs, new HVAC and electrical systems will need to be installed to accommodate the increase in finished space, occupancy codes are not as easily met because another bathroom would be required, and a new storage building may be required to accommodate the loss in equipment storage space in city hall.
After weighing all the options, the interns recommend the city install a new elevator to fully utilize the space that already exists on the second floor. Although elevators are expensive, it is the most cost effective and provides the most efficient use of City Hall in the long-term.
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