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Alpharetta Gets First Look at New City Hall Design

The City Council holds a public update on its City Center project at every meeting, and Monday night it was time to move from the site plan to a city government building.

Alpharetta's lead architect on its City Center project brought a 3-dimensional model and renderings to show the exterior design and size of a new City Hall.

Michael Schwarz hastened to add in his presentation that the color of bricks used in the model and drawings are only used as placeholders. He plans to take actual bricks outside on the City Center site so City Council members can see what they look like under natural lighting. Only then will City Council pick a stye and color of brick.

The building takes advantage of the slope. The front entrance is at street level, but the rear entrance is approximately one floor higher because the land slopes down toward the east. Similarly, the side of City Hall facing the future site of the Alpharetta Library branch has its lower level exposed, offering an opportunity for an entrance directly into a small garden between the two building sites – and natural lighting.

The other, northern side of the building doesn't allow access to the lower level as it would be underground on this side. City Council chambers would be on this side, with more administration offices on the southern side.

"The roof of the building is designed to mask all of the mechanical equipment," Schwarz said, so no ugly HVAC units will be seen. He said green space will be tucked into both sides of the building on the front of the building, which "further helps to break down the scale of the building within the site."

Marcy September 25, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Ah, a monument to themselves. Is this really the best use of this money?
KENNETH B. KAY September 25, 2012 at 03:49 PM
It could fit alongside Milton High School.
NL September 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM
What is new council meeting hall number of seats for citizens to observe compared with the current number of seats? Does the new City Hall accomodate all the offices where we are currently renting space? How much does the city save per year not having to rent this space after occupancy?
Michael Cross September 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM
We're still in the design process, so no one can yet answer those questions with precision. I can say, however, that we anticipate the primary meeting room to hold about the same number of people. We've also discussed having one or two other areas of City Hall where people can see and hear the proceedings as well with overflow seating available when needed. The new City Hall will include the finance department and the community development department. These departments currently are in separate locations, though I'm not yet certain as to amount of the savings. I'll check on that.
Michael Cross September 25, 2012 at 07:24 PM
@NL, The lease savings is about $86,000. This doesn't include any adjustment for operating costs, though those costs may end up being fairly similar.
Alpharesident September 25, 2012 at 07:52 PM
A boring traditional looking building from another century. Old-school imposing at best. I guess modern architecture was not in the cards for Alpharetta. Oh well. Yawn.
Lee at rootsinalpharetta.com September 25, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Mr Cross, what's the cost of the just city hall building? I've never seen that figure broken out of the total downtown development costs. Thanks.
Michael Cross September 25, 2012 at 08:24 PM
@Lee, We're still working on that. As we work through the process, obtain citizen input, and refine the project, we'll be able to provide the details.
No Name September 26, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Much better than Suwanee that will be dated in not too many years.
Concerned Citizen September 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I wonder if the building will have any recycled materials used, will have a rain barrel (or several) to use to water the garden next door, will be any level of LEED certified?
Paula M September 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Love it! Great design, timeless, classic and energy efficient. The whole plan looks great. Love the layout and landscaping. Hope the library building design fits in. How is that coming? Michael Cross, who designs the library and are they using the suggested design on the plan?
Michael Cross September 26, 2012 at 06:24 PM
@Paula, The county is responsible for the library. There have been communications between their consultants and our consultants, though I'm not sure where the library project is in the design process.
John Monson September 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM
No matter what you do, people will find reasons to complain. If no one is complaining, you're not making progress! Keep up the good work. Be sure to add the tee-box on the balcony to chip balls onto the town-green! (that's a JOKE, people) It looks great; but I do agree...a bit "traditional/plain". I'm sure the real thing is more impressive than the model.

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