On July 29, Fairmont City Council and other officials took a tour of several potential sites for a new City Hall location.
"There's no identity for the city of Fairmont. You really have a city floor, you don't have a City Hall," said city manager Jay Rogers.
Establishing that identity has been a long time coming, said Rogers.
"You have a building that was built in the 1980s and really wasn't designed to understand modern technology. We joke around here that we can't remodel anymore because we don't know where the Pepsi machine will go. We have two individuals right now that are sharing space. Their office is in a conference room," said Rogers.
With the first option, city officials wouldn't have to move very far. The Masonic Temple is literally right across the street from the J. Harper Meredith Building.
"The city actually owns that building, we acquired it about three years ago to try to preserve that building," said Wyrosdick.
"It's a cornerstone building in your downtown. If you lose this building, that's a big gaping hole in your downtown," said Rogers.
The second choice is the City Center on Fairmont Avenue. Council considered new construction, but for numerous reasons, decided there was a better option.
"They really want to walk the walk of historic preservation, and that's why they've chosen existing buildings in our downtown," said Wyrosdick.
"Throughout the past year, council has developed a set of goals that they would like to see with this building...making sure there is a presence and an identity, making sure there's adequate space for growth in the future. Then we also want to put city council chambers back where city hall is, and not located at the public safety building," said Rogers.
That assessment of criteria ended in a tie, so teams will go back to the drawing board, get a cost factor for both buildings, and present their findings to city council.
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