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Interior of new Detroit Lakes City Hall begins to take shape

City Administrator Kelcey Klemm said the work is on schedule, with no major changes to date. Project completion is still expected for Spring 2024.

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Rocks were loaded into wheelbarrows and dumped into a loader bucket last week, as work began on renovating the Detroit Lakes City Hall roof.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — Those driving by Detroit Lakes City Hall (1025 Roosevelt Ave.) last week may have noticed the $7.7 million renovation is well underway.

Before spring, the interior had been gutted and a chain-link fence was installed around the front of the building. In recent weeks, rocks were being shoveled off the roof for the roof replacement, and interior walls were being built.

City Administrator Kelcey Klemm said the work is on schedule, with no major changes to date. Project completion is still expected for spring 2024.

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An artistic rendering of what the new Detroit Lakes City Hall will look like upon completion. This graphic shows the new public entrance at the front of the building.
Contributed graphic

When the building opens to the public, Klemm explained the public entrance will be on the main level, with access along East Frazee Street, instead of Roosevelt Avenue. A large entrance is being added to the front of the building, which will allow the public to conduct business with the city in that area, such as paying utility bills and so forth.

Klemm explained the public will also be able to gain access to the council chambers and meeting rooms on the top floor through the main entrance.

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“There will be a staircase leading up and an elevator,” he said, adding when the City Hall was on the top floor, they did not have inside access to the main floor. “The bottom floor was essentially unused.”

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Framing is underway on the top floor of City Hall. The council chambers, meeting rooms and public bathroom locations are taking shape.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Now, the main floor will provide offices for city staff. The top floor will be designated for council meetings and include a main council chamber as well as meeting rooms that can serve as overflow, should a council meeting require it.

Klemm added the council chamber will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide video conferencing and audio equipment, so attendees can hear discussions taking place.

Klemm said the catalyst for the building renovation came about because no major work had been done to the building since the late 1970s. That meant the roof was past its prime, as well as the mechanical and electrical systems. He said the City Council at the time weighed options, from building new to remodeling, and settled on the latter.

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The main floor of the Detroit Lakes City Hall building has been gutted. The space will be used for offices. There will also be a staircase and elevator granting public access to the council chambers on the top floor.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The $7.7 million project included $6.6 million in construction costs for Bristlin Construction of Detroit Lakes and $1.1 million for soft costs, such as architectural designs, furniture and more. The majority of the project is to be paid for through the Detroit Lakes Public Utility and city liquor funds.

While the renovations are taking place, the city offices were relocated to 106 Holmes St.

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Detroit Lakes City Hall's front entrance is gated off as construction has begun.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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