Council Rejects City Hall Renovation

The Ann Arbor city council has passed a resolution that asks the city planning commission to remove a “reskinning” project for the city hall building from the capital improvements plan (CIP) for FY 2017 and FY 2018. The vote came at the council’s June 2, 2014 meeting, over dissent from Margie Teall (Ward 4).

The item had been postponed from the council’s May 19, 2014 meeting.

According to a staff memo written in response to a councilmember question, reskinning of the Larcom City Hall building would mean replacing the existing exterior walls and windows of the building. The result would be new squared-off exterior, eliminating the inverted pyramid design. The new exterior would hang vertically from the sixth floor.

The focus of the project is on improving energy efficiency. The memo describes existing windows as mostly single-pane glass on aluminum frames, which offer little insulation value. The project would also result in an incremental gain in square footage – because the lower floors would have the same footprint as the sixth floor, which is currently the largest floor of the building. According to the memo, materials used for the exterior would “blend better” with the recently constructed Justice Center, which adjoins city hall.

An amendment to the resolution made at the council meeting added a “resolved” clause that expressed support for an energy efficiency renovation at city hall. The consensus on the council was not to support cosmetic improvements.

Details on the council’s deliberations are provided in The Chronicle’s live updates filed during the meeting.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall located at 301 E. Huron.