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Architects to look at Springfield city hall uses
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Springfield City Council members have agreed to a proposal from a Savannah architecture firm to explore how to redevelop Springfield City Hall.

With council members’ approval, Hansen Architects will develop site plans of the area, perform an analysis of vehicle and pedestrian traffic and review the existing physical condition of the city hall building.

Patrick Phelps, an architect with Hansen, noted the city’s previous work with Savannah College of Art and Design students on potential uses of City Hall.

“We’d like to take some of those ideas a little bit further,” Phelps said. “Through the services we’re proposing here, really kind of looking at existing conditions and going through and documents and confirming as build documents, city hall, the additions, the surrounding areas.”

The firm will meet with city officials and others to explore redevelopment ideas and how feasible those concepts are. In producing a design charrette, the firm will meet with city staff in a work session to look at the needs of city hall, the Mars Theatre, the city and the community as part of a downtown master plan. The session is expected to delve into new uses for city hall, an outdoor venue, expansion of the Mars and parking.

Phelps said the firm will have documents, schematic drawings, budget estimates and recommendations for how to approach the work in phases, “so we can look at three-year, five-year and 10-year development plan for downtown, to say what is best for the city of Springfield. What is the smart growth and how do we make it happen?”

Phelps said they should be finalizing the plan in about three to four months, with input from the city and the community.

“We want to make sure we address questions as they come along and everybody’s needs and wants are heard,” he said. “It is a great opportunity.”

Mayor Barton Alderman said council members had a good discussion on possible city hall redevelopment in a recent budget workshop.

“I think we’re all real happy to get started,” he said.