The city should do a full, $30 million rehabilitation of the landmark but aging Madison Municipal Building at one time, a new staff report says.
The city’s Engineering Division explored three options — basic upgrades, phased rehabilitation and full rehabilitation — and found complete rehabilitation at one time to be the best long-term solution for a quality building for staff, elected officials and the community, the nine-page report by staff and outside consultants says.
Basic upgrades to the energy-inefficient Municipal Building, built in the Neo-Classical Revival Style in 1929, would cost an estimated $20.4 million and the phased approach a total $37 million, the report says. The estimates include construction, professional fees, temporary relocation, furniture and fixtures.
Now, Mayor Paul Soglin and the City Council must decide what to do and when.
Soglin said he expects the city’s finance committee, the Board of Estimates, to discuss the report on Monday. He declined further comment.
“It’s important. I think it’s possible,” council president Denise DeMarb said. “I just think it’s one of many things we need to look at.”
A majority of the building’s systems — roof, mechanicals, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and lighting — are beyond their useful life but the general high quality of the structure and its location make it an excellent candidate for rehabilitation, the report says.
“We really haven’t spent any money on that building in 40-plus years,” city facilities and sustainability manager Jeanne Hoffman told the council at a special informational meeting Tuesday. “The building is in desperate need of investment.”
“To do nothing is not a viable option,” city engineer Rob Phillips said.
Construction costs for heating, cooling, electrical and fire protection alone are $7.3 million, the report says. There is no “inexpensive’ path to even basic rehabilitation,” it says.
The phased approach is expensive because it loads a lot of basic rehabilitation into the initial phase and carries extra costs for contractors doing integrated work in separate pieces and times, said Bryan Cooper, an architect with the Engineering Division.
The cost to replace city offices elsewhere is estimated at roughly $24 million, acting director of Planning, Community and Economic Development Natalie Erdman said.
The city’s capital budget includes $4 million for Municipal Building renovations in 2015 and envisions another $26 million over the following four years to re-establish the building as a “healthy, productive and pleasant environment both inside and out.” Spending after 2015, however, must be approved in annual budgets.
The report recommends the city proceed to schematic design with the hope of putting the project out for bid in 2016 and starting construction the next year.
The report comes as the city weighs four elaborate new proposals for the massive Judge Doyle Square redevelopment on blocks that hold the Municipal Building and Government East parking garage south of Capitol Square.
The city has already decided the Municipal Building will remain in civic use as it decides the right project for property behind it.
Suitors for Judge Doyle Square — Beitler Real Estate Services, Doyle Square Development, JDS Development and Vermilion Development — are proposing mixed-use projects with a new hotel to serve Monona Terrace, housing, commercial space and parking. But they offer differing design, features and price tags ranging from $112.8 million to $203.2 million.
A special city negotiating team is scheduled to provide an initial analysis of the four proposals to the Board of Estimates on Monday.
In the meantime, MSR Design of Minneapolis has been developing concepts to better use space inside and between the Municipal Building and City-County Building that face on the 200 block of martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.A draft report by MSR this spring is expected to focus on moving ahead with the Municipal Building elements and perhaps the plaza.