Design Advisory Group opts to keep current city hall building

Paducah’s City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group met with RATIO architects again Wednesday to tell RATIO they want to keep the current building.

RATIO will still present an option to renovate and an option to construct a new building to the  city commission.

The city commission will make the final decision. Cost hasn’t been factored in yet, so the unanimous decision to preserve the old building could change among the advisory group. All six members of the committee made it clear, if the current city hall building can be saved, they want to save it.

The Paducah City Hall is more than 50 years old, and it shows. What some may consider outdated, Fowler Black sees as part of Paducah’s front teeth. “If you knock one of those teeth out, you lose some of your character,” Black said.

That’s what Wednesday’s meeting was about: character, space, and potential cost. Black said his identity is wrapped up in the city. For him, these meeting mean setting the tone for the city for another 50 years. 

Everyone at the table agreed that, if the city is going to renovate the current building, they’ll have to make better use of the space. That could mean replacing the atrium blank space. From the models that RATIO presented, both options 2 and 3 include bringing the commission chamber to the first floor. That excess space would make room for the parks department and IT.

“The interior is just as important as the exterior,” Black said.

Ratio will be back in Paducah the first week of February to give their best estimates on how much each option will cost. 

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