Moscow employees are expected to occupy the Sam Haddock Building in March, said Bill Belknap, deputy city supervisor of community planning and design.

The city purchased the building this year for $875,000 from Gritman Medical Park LLC. The building is on the corner of South Washington and East Fifth streets, south of the Federal Building and east of the Moscow Food Co-op.

Belknap said renovation plans for the building are nearly complete and the project is expected to be put out to bid in December. Construction will take no more than 60 days.

“It’s all interior work,” Belknap said. “No large structural renovations.”

The project largely consists of removing walls to allow for an open work space. Belknap said it will also include new floor coverings, lighting, ceiling tile replacements, heating, ventilation and air conditioning work and the installation of a customer service counter.

He said he has not seen a cost estimate from the architect working on the project but initial estimates were $418,000 for construction, design and furniture. The Haddock Building property acquisition and renovations will be funded by bond proceeds and general fund capital accumulation and has been accommodated in the fiscal 2021 budget, which started Oct. 1.

Moscow voters passed a $9.64 million general obligation bond in May 2019 to fund the construction of a new police station, renovation of the existing police station on Fourth Street to fit the city office needs, now proposed at the Haddock Building, and minor repairs to the Paul Mann Building next to City Hall.

The Fourth Street building renovations were estimated to cost about $1.5 million, but the city would save $200,000 because the cost of acquisition and renovation of the Haddock Building is estimated at $1.3 million, according to a city document published in June.

The Haddock Building was constructed in 1985 and includes 7,500 square feet of office space, 1,400 square feet of storage space (within a partial basement) and 15 off-street parking spaces, the city document said.

The city document indicates the Haddock Building provides benefits that the Fourth Street building would not. It was constructed as a more modern office building, fits the intended use better than the Fourth Street building, admits more natural sunlight, would require less extensive renovations, offers off-street parking for customers and city inspection vehicles and provides more convenient access for customers and visitors.

Belknap said city staff from engineering, building and safety, planning and grants departments will occupy the Haddock Building. He said most engineering, building and safety and planning employees are staffed in the Mann Building and grants staff is in a space the city leases on East Third Street across from City Hall.

The city will no longer need that East Third Street space after employees move to the Haddock Building, Belknap said. He said the city has one more year on the lease so it will either fulfill the terms of the lease or work with the building owner to find a tenant to sublease or take over the space.

The new police station on the corner of U.S. Highway 95/South Main Street and Southview Avenue is slated for completion in July and repairs to the Mann Building will be done in 2021, Belknap said.

He said he expects the current police department to be appraised this spring and a public auction for the facility would be conducted thereafter.

In other city news, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director David Schott said the city received a $225,000 Idaho Community Development Block Grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce to help fund four projects next year at Indian Hills and Mountain View parks.

Schott said the four projects are estimated to cost $275,000 and the city would cover the remaining $50,000 not covered by the grant.

The projects include the installation of an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible restroom and ADA parking space at Indian Hills Park. At Mountain View Park, one project will consist of installing a pathway to connect the two parking lots and the other will upgrade the restroom to make it ADA compliant.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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