Greenwood Village, Colorado — GH Phipps constructed Westminster’s City Hall in 1988, and almost 30 years later, was retained to perform a complete renovation on the City Council Chambers.
The project, completed with Anderson Hallas Architects, PC, focused on complying with ADA regulations, installing audio-visual equipment that improves the council’s work, and updating spaces to enhance safety measures.
The existing council chambers floor was sloped, offering raked seating for members of the public. The angle did not comply with ADA regulations, so GH Phipps’ team infilled the slanted floor and created a flat floor by using steel-framed stub walls and new concrete topping on metal deck. An electronic voting system was installed for council members, along with monitors that allow audience members to view council actions more closely. Safety procedures included the installation of bullet-resistant doors and walls.
Although the renovation focused on practical issues that had become apparent over time, the design created by Anderson Hallas Architects was a key aspect of the project. Matching granite was introduced as an element of the new council chambers desk, and was used to top a new table in the conference room. Brass railings were installed to guide visitors to the seating area and also provided a boundary for the city council members’ desk at the front of the room. The council chambers have been updated, but remain compatible with the rest of the City Hall’s interiors.
The Phipps team built a temporary partition around the council chambers to segregate the work area from the rest of the building, stressing safety and allowing workers and the public to still enter through the front door. The city’s staff keeps a four-day week, Monday through Thursday, so the Phipps team shifted to a Tuesday through Saturday work week. That way, they could perform as many disruptive tasks as possible on Fridays, including work on lower-level plumbing and the need to pump in concrete through the building’s front door.
Along with getting a 21st century city council chambers, Westminster officials also got money back on the project, which came in on time and under budget by about $100,000.
Image courtesy of GH Phipps