Harlem officials expect to see the expansion of one city building and the construction of a new one complete by the summer.
Harlem City Council voted Dec. 17 to award the bid to construct a facility to house Head Start and Community Connections to Payne Construction Commercial Inc. of Athens, Ga.
The building is set to be built on four acres on West Church Street in the city park that the city purchased from Columbia County for $25,000. A $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will pay for the construction.
Mayor Scott Dean said he will sign the construction contract when it has been approved by the city attorney. Construction is estimated to be completed in the spring.
The plans for the new building include office, classroom and meeting space for both programs and shared conference rooms and restrooms.
The city also plans to open bids Jan. 29 to expand the City Hall building on North Louisville Street. The expansion will include doubling the size of city hall by adding a second building in the grassy area behind it.
The building now houses officers for the water billing clerk, city clerk and the accounts payable clerk. Offices of the city manager, Dean, the city council, Planning and Zoning and Community Connections were moved in 2005 to a rented office behind the Harlem Department of Public Safety at North Louisville and South Hicks streets.
The expansion, which is estimated to cost $250,000 to $300,000, should take four to five months to complete. Interim funding, possibly including 1-cent sales tax money, will pay for the expansion. City officials hope the project will be completed by April.
City leaders also voted to change the January city council meeting, which would have been scheduled for Jan. 21, to Jan. 17 at city hall.
The city council work session will begin at 6 p.m. and the council meeting will immediately follow.
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