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Paul Soglin, Mike Verveer will propose $30 million rehabilitation of Madison Municipal Building
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Paul Soglin, Mike Verveer will propose $30 million rehabilitation of Madison Municipal Building

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Mayor Paul Soglin and Ald. Mike Verveer are proposing to follow a staff recommendation for a full, $30 million rehabilitation of the landmark but aging Madison Municipal Building.

Soglin and Verveer, 4th District, intend to offer a resolution at the City Council’s next meeting on May 19 calling for the project to move forward. The proposal would be considered by committees and return to the council for a final decision on June 16.

The proposal follows release of a city Engineering Division report Tuesday that studied three options — basic upgrades, phased rehabilitation and full rehabilitation — and found complete rehabilitation at one time as the best long-term solution for a quality building for staff, officials and the community.

Basic upgrades to the Municipal Building, built in 1929, would cost an estimated $20.4 million and the phased approach a total $37 million, the report says. Estimates include construction, professional fees, temporary relocation, furniture and fixtures.

Full rehabilitation “is the only viable option,” Soglin said Wednesday. “The building has mechanical and heating systems that have outlived their useful life. The elements are starting to eat away at the structure.”

The city could find cheaper space for city employees elsewhere but inefficiencies and lost productivity at a site further from the City-County Building are costly and don’t make sense, he said.

The landmark “should be treasured and not continue to be neglected,” Verveer said. “We need to do it once and do it right. It will be a spectacular yet functional asset to the city.”

The city’s capital budget includes $4 million for Municipal Building renovations in 2015 and envisions another $26 million over the next four years. Spending after 2015 must be approved in annual budgets.

The staff report recommends the city move to schematic design and put the project out for bid in 2016 with construction starting the next year. Soglin said he supports that timeline.

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