A large second floor meeting room at the Madison Municipal Building in Madison.

The Madison Municipal Building is currently going through renovations, and will reopen or reach “substantial completion” on Aug. 31, according to principal architect Bryan Cooper.

Staff will start moving into the building throughout September. The Cap Times got an early tour of the building this week. 

The 1929 landmark Municipal Building needed the renovation to provide a long-term solution for significant problems associated with its electrical, heating and cooling systems.

The building is home to city departments like planning, building inspection, traffic engineering, zoning, the Community Development Authority and the Community and Economic Development division. The departments were temporarily relocated to other downtown buildings during construction.

The renovation project is separate from the $186 million redevelopment of the two blocks behind the municipal building known as Judge Doyle Square. The two projects were linked in previous iterations.

The entrance to the MMB that most people will use will be located off of Doty Street, and the primary entrance for people coming from the City-County Building will be off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

All the windows on the second and third floor are the originals from the 1920s, and the windows on the first floor and basement (called "level zero") are replicas.

“The architects took the original drawings, as much as we could find, and created these drawings. We run that through the historical planning commission and that commission approves the windows,” Cooper said.

Level zero will house the planning and zoning departments, and contain open work stations. There are also conference rooms where the public and planning committee staff members can meet.

The renovations tried to make it clear where the public is allowed to go and where they are not.

“We tried to make it so there is a clear distinction between public, semi-public and private,” Cooper said.

The first floor will be home to parking, utilities and housing operations. The floor also contains a number of conference rooms.

“One of the big issues in the City-County Building is there aren’t enough places to meet, so city staff over there can use this,” Cooper said.

The second floor mostly will be home to human resources. 

“This is the only part that has all private offices, because of the notion that HR is going to need more privacy,” Cooper said.

The largest conference room on that floor will be used for meeting with department heads, and the meetings can be streamed online to the public, according to Cooper.

The second floor also contains Room 260, the former federal court room, which is the largest room on that floor. 

“This room will be used for Finance Committee meetings, and maybe City Council meetings in a pinch,” Cooper said.

The third level consists of Community and Economic Development.

In addition, the Municipal Building will have a green roof that will be home to plants and solar panels.

Reporter Abigail Becker contributed to this report.

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