Pelham City Hall relocated to Southgate Drive

PELHAM – Pelham City Hall has relocated to 401 Southgate Drive off of Alabama 119, between Two Pesos and Edgar’s Bakery. The city expects to be housed at this location for about a year.

The new location will house the Building Department, including permitting and licensing, administration, the offices of the mayor and city manager and the finance and human resources departments. Residents should use P.O. Box 1419, Pelham, Alabama 35124 for all mail correspondence with the city.

City Council meetings will continue to be held at the Pelham Courtroom until further notice. The location for other public meetings will be posted on the city’s website, PelhamAlabama.gov, and announced in the media in advance of those meetings.

The building that once housed City Hall has been closed since early March when concerns about air quality arose after some preliminary testing. Investigations into air quality issues at Pelham City Hall revealed issues related to the presence of mold. City Manager Gretchen DiFante said air quality testing for asbestos came out clean, meaning asbestos in the building is safely contained and not airborne.

Moisture has been entering the building in three ways – through the roof, the foundation and the HVAC system.

At an April 15 meeting, the council approved a $99,000 contract with Edmonds Engineering Inc. to prepare a bid package for mold remediation, repairs and construction at City Hall. The estimated cost of construction is $1.1 million.

At a May 20 work session, representatives from Edmonds Engineering presented the Pelham City Council with three options for repairing and/or renovating City Hall.

Option 1 includes the minimum work required to address the air quality issues in the building. This includes repairs to building to address moisture intrusion, removal, remediation and abatement of the basement walls where mold has been found, replacement of the HVAC ductwork and air devices, replacement of HVAC units as needed and the removal of asbestos only in areas where mold remediation is required and in the stairwell flooring.

This option has an estimated cost of $900,000 to $1.1 million. It would take about two to three months to complete architectural designs and nine to 12 months for construction.

Option 2 included everything mentioned in Option 1 in addition to the full renovation of the main level of City Hall. Renovating the main floor of City Hall would mean the abatement of all walls on that floor identified to contain asbestos. The basement and a third floor of City Hall would not be renovated, however some HVAC work would be needed. Option 2 is estimated to cost $1.6 million to $1.8 million and would also take about 12 months for construction.

Option 3 is to build a new City Hall. The current three-story building is 20,000 square feet, with 9,000 square feet on the main level. Representatives with Edmonds Engineering suggested a new building equivalent to the main level of the existing City Hall, plus 30 percent additional space to accommodate future growth, putting the size of the building at 12,000 square feet. The estimated cost is $3 million. For a new facility equal in square footage to the current building, it would cost about $5 million.

The City Council has not come to a decision as to which route to take. Once the council decides on an option, the engineering firm will begin preparing a bid package for the project.