LaFayette rejects new city hall bid, starts process of new reno plan

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, March 27, 2024

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LaFayette’s new city hall renovation has hit another roadblock after the city council voted to reject their original bid, on Monday, and reassess their renovation plans with Meinert Architecture in Auburn.

During the previous city council meeting, the council discussed two bids they received for the former bank at 54 Lafayette Street across from Renfroe’s Market. The low bidder, Whatley Construction of Opelika, was for $454,800 with an alternate of $8,750. 

Forsyth Building Company in Anniston also placed a bid for $463,800. 

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Like the last meeting, Councilmember Terry Mangram said that moving the counter was too costly. At Monday’s meeting, he made a motion to reject the bid and reevaluate with their architecture firm. The new renovation plan would include only ADA-compliant adjustments and minor cosmetic changes inside the building.

“And after looking at everything, we feel as though we really don’t need to make some of the adjustments that we were talking about making,” Mangram said. 

The original plan for the renovation included making ADA-compliant updates to the bathrooms and entryways of the building.

Part of the right side of the building would be used to house the current police department operations. The window that used to be for the bank teller drive-thru would be used for citizens to interact with the police clerk. 

The left side of the building would be where the city held council meetings. One of the major changes within the building was to move the counter/half-wall to make room for what would become the council chambers. 

However, when the bids came back, Mangram among others voiced concerns over the steep pricing for that renovation. 

The city of LaFayette has been planning this move for many years. The plans to move into the former McClendon Building died when Mayor Kenneth Vines came into office because the cost of renovations was too high.

The Valley Times-News previously reported that the building housing the current city hall was built in the late 1930s. It has not been remodeled since the 60s and has undergone several roof repairs in recent years.