Jean Dove hopes to move into her new office by Oct. 1.
But the Harlem city manager might have to wait until after the city's Oct. 4 Oliver Hardy Festival.
Her new office is part of the new construction at Harlem City Hall that she expects to conclude by the end of September.
"To have all the space, the offices, it is going to be really nice," Dove said.
The addition, expected to cost about $300,000, will double the size of city hall and will house offices for Dove, the mayor, city council and Planning and Zoning, in addition to a map room, file room and meeting room. The new building, constructed in the grassy area behind city hall, mirrors the look of the original building, which was formerly a bank.
Dove said it will be more convenient for city staff and for customers when the administrative staff can once again work under one roof. Funds for the construction came from proceeds from the sale of city land on W. Forrest Street, Dove said.
The current city hall houses offices for the water billing clerk, city clerk and the accounts payable clerk. Offices for Dove, the city council, Planning and Zoning and Community Connections were moved in 2005 to a rented office behind Harlem Department of Public Safety on North Louisville Street.
Since the move, city hall was expanded by enclosing a back patio and the interior of the building was repainted and recarpeted.
Community Connections, also currently housed in the cramped rented administrative offices, will soon be moving into a newly-constructed building scheduled for completion by the end of August.
The new facility, named the Mary E. Sanders Community Center and Head Start/Community Connections Center, is being built on four acres in Harlem City Park.
The building includes offices, classroom and meeting space for Community Connections and Head Start, and shared conference rooms and restrooms.
Initial hopes were that the building would be complete and the program employees moved before the Aug. 11 start of school. A few snags have slowed construction.
A $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and $100,000 of city funds are paying for the project.
As both projects are complete, Dove said city and Community Connections employees will be moving out of their rented offices and into the new buildings.
"We should be vacating about the same time," Dove said.
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