Alabaster preparing to move into new City Hall

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Crews work to install a projector screen in what will be the Alabaster municipal courtroom inside the city's new City Hall building on July 16. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Crews work to install a projector screen in what will be the Alabaster municipal courtroom inside the city’s new City Hall building on July 16. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster is looking to move into its new City Hall and courtroom within the next 45 days, and crews currently are working to build the final portions of the new building.

“We are going to do our dead-level best to not impact customer service when we move,” Alabaster City Manager George Henry said during a July 16 walkthrough of the new building.

Once completed, the new City Hall will house Alabaster’s administration, municipal court, building department and Alabaster City Schools’ central office. In total, the new City Hall will consolidate four buildings currently being used by the city and the Alabaster School System.

The address for the new City Hall will be 1953 Municipal Way, which will be a new road leading off 11th Avenue into the new building’s parking lot. The address signifies the year Alabaster was incorporated.

Drivers traveling from Alabama 119 down 11th Avenue will be looking at the back of the new City Hall after crossing over the railroad tracks.

The front of the building, which faces the Buck Creek Trail, features two public entrances: One to access the city’s administrative offices and another to access the courtroom and the second-floor Alabaster City Schools central office.

The entrance leading to court and the school offices will require visitors to pass through a metal detector. Once passing through the metal detector, visitors will be able to either enter the courtroom or walk upstairs to the central school office lobby.

The administrative office entrance leads to a lobby, where visitors will be greeted by a receptionist who will grant them access to the office area.

Other than the main entrances and the stairway and elevator leading to the central school office lobby, most doors are controlled access for security reasons. Visitors also will be able to freely access the conference room and courtroom when meetings or court dates are happening.

Several rooms, such as the courtroom and conference room, will feature cameras and wall-mounted displays to allow for information displays during meetings, and all rooms will be linked to the city’s central servers.

In case of a significant emergency event, the building, which features concrete-filled walls and a concrete ceiling, can serve as the city’s base of operations for an extended period of time.

“When we were designing this, we really tried to think about workflow, efficiency, safety and use,” Henry said. “A lot of thought was given to the workflow in this building.”