Van Buren brought multiple plans before the council for preliminary review, including both one-story and two-story build options. According to early design models, the new building would consist of about 12,848 square feet with 41 parking spaces.
The current Ellisville city hall, located at 1 Weis Ave. and adjacent to the city’s police station, consists of 6,935 square feet. The building was originally constructed in 1971 and, according to Mayor Mike Roemerman, still includes assets from the residential home to which the facility was originally connected.
“The council chambers were added on to match what was originally a single-family home,” Roemerman said. “The bedrooms are [now] offices. The city manager’s office is what used to be the living room, made into two offices. The original bathrooms have the old, 1950s original tile like you would see in grandma’s house, but it’s still a functional bathroom with the old tub and everything. A lot of people don’t realize those are the bones of our city hall. It’s a very, very old home that just has been expanded on. It’s not a functional layout. It’s very small. We billow out of that council chamber on a regular basis, and court is a nightmare.”
The estimated construction cost for a new building would be about $4.9 million, and the total timespan to plan and build the structure would be one year to 18-months. However, exact timetables for both construction and development are still pending due to the conceptual phase of the development.
“There would be five phases to the consideration and conception,” Roemerman said. “We are just past the first phase, and it’s very conceptual and a very basic potential budget. We could scale that down.”
While funding has yet to be determined, Roemerman said other recently completed developments within the city could lead to potential financing opportunities.
“The Edge Aquatic Center will be paid off here shortly, so that kind of opens up some space in our budget, and ironically, the cost for this is in the same ballpark for what The EDGE Aquatic Center was,” Roemerman said. “So, all things stay the same. We’d just put this as our next big project.”
This isn’t the first time Ellisville has considered the possibility of a new city hall. Previously, the council entertained relocating city services to the old TriStar Mercedes-Benz dealership location.
“This isn’t something that is a new thought by any means, but now that the aquatic center is close to being paid off, we can see into the future of how this could work out,” Roemerman said.