City Hall deals with disruption
ASPEN Remodeling jobs are rarely hassle-free, city employees and residents have learned over the past several weeks.Portions of City Hall look like a war zone, with offices in disrepair, boxes stacked in hallways and exposed wooden floors where carpet used to be.The $90,000 remodeling project has forced dozens of employees to pack up their offices, endure the disruption and explain the inconveniences.All just for new carpet. Employees began packing their things before Memorial Day weekend in anticipation of the work, which started in earnest last Wednesday with the 10-year-old carpet being ripped up. The installation of the new carpet began Saturday. City Hall hired movers to take the boxes out and bring them back in once the flooring goes in. “We’re expecting completion by midday [today],” said Bentley Henderson, assistant city manager. “Everything should be put back together by the end of this week. … Everyone has computers and desks at this point.”He added that most of the work was taking place during the evenings and on weekends, but the last portion is occurring during the business day.It’s not only been inconvenient for city workers but also for members of the public who need files and other services from City Hall. The City Clerk’s Office staff has endured a lot of the inconvenience, especially since it had to organize the June 5 election with the office torn up. On Monday morning, Jackie Lothian, who works in the clerk’s office, joked with a resident who had come in looking for a permit from the engineering department. “What can we not help you with today?” she laughed as he approached her office. When Lothian came into the office Monday morning, she found her phone in a desk drawer. By that afternoon, she was working at a half-assembled desk and had no access to a printer.”I think most of us were over it before it started,” Henderson said, adding that the staff has been gracious during the process. “They have been very understanding and forgiving on what we are trying to do.”As of Tuesday, the information room on the first level had been completed, as well as the environmental health and human resources departments on the second floor, and the Sister Cities Meeting Room downstairs. The offices of the mayor, city manager and city clerk are partially done. The carpet is 100 percent environmentally friendly and has been installed in tiles, as opposed to rolls, so it can be replaced more easily, Henderson said.The next big job is remodeling the City Council chambers, which will have better audiovisual technology, as well as better acoustics. Renovations to other portions of City Hall will follow later.”There is absolutely no way I would have wanted to do any more than what we are doing right now,” Henderson said.
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