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Take a look inside the new Provo City Hall

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 18:52:27-04

PROVO, Utah — Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the new Provo City Hall.

"To be able to build this spectacular of a city hall and public safety building for the citizens of Provo, and stay under budget and come in on time...," Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said as she looked around the building on Thursday.

The five-story, 204,000 square foot building is set to open this weekend. City hall workers are bringing in boxes from the old city hall down the street. The new building is a noticeable improvement from the old government center. It has a narrower design, but makes up for it in height and an abundance of natural light.

"What was Provo in the 1970s, very different than Provo in the 2020s, obviously," said Scott Henderson, the project director for the new city hall. "This building gives us a chance to react not only to what is happening now, but in that life of the building which is estimated at 75 to 100 years."

Mayor Kaufusi lobbied Provo voters hard to pass a $69 million bond in 2018 to fund the new city hall and a new fire station within the city. She gave tours of the old city buildings to show residents just how bad conditions were.

The old city hall was dark, cramped and crumbling. Some city employees had office space in converted broom closets. There were leaky pipes and brick and concrete was actually falling off the old building. The police department was deemed unsafe in the event of an earthquake.

"Here we house the first responders. The tiniest little rattle, they would have been buried under concrete and not been able to respond and do their job," Mayor Kaufusi said. "Game changer now. We’re now able to keep the citizens safe and sound, provide the services they expect, without the worry and fear that we’re not prepared."

The new city hall gives the police and fire departments a joint emergency operations center (right now for large public safety events, they all drive to a space near the power station). The building is also designed to provide government services on the first two floors.

"We tried to design the building for our citizens, our customer, and tried to bring their service areas close to them so that they are able to come in and get their service," said Henderson.

Mayor Kaufusi said she believes taxpayers are getting their money's worth in a new building.

"It's their building," she said. "We want the citizens to come in and learn about it and walk through it and understand what we, as local government and public safety, provide for them."

A ribbon cutting event and tours will be offered on Saturday at the new Provo City Hall on Center Street from 11am-1pm.