MARYSVILLE — Rows of people wearing scarves, gloves and thick jackets gathered on a thin crust of snow Monday afternoon, for the ground breaking ceremony of Marysville’s future civic center.
Once complete, the building will house City Hall, along with a new jail, police department and courthouse.
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring stepped up to the podium. He recalled being on the city council nearly two decades ago when conversations about the project first started. Construction is set to begin in the next couple of weeks.
“In about two years we will be back here, and we’ll be celebrating the opening of a modern, energy-efficient facility,” Nehring said.
Originally, the idea was to build only a new city hall, said Gloria Hirashima, the city’s chief administrative officer. She’s worked at the city for about 30 years.
The plan changed about five years ago, when the police station became the priority.
“I started having studies done for the jail and police station,” Hirashima said. “I was thinking we were going to do a minor remodel, and the studies came back and said, ‘You need a new building.’”
City Hall will be housed in a four-story, 37,239-square-foot space. It will be connected to the new two-story, 43,130-square-foot police department and courthouse and the 20,848-square-foot jail.
The project will take up six acres, and stretch between Fifth and Eighth streets along the west side of Delta Avenue.
Benches and trees will be placed near the front of the building to create an outdoor plaza. Road blocks can close Delta Avenue to secure an outdoor space for celebrations and events.
In all, the project is expected to cost $47.6 million.
In August 2018, voters approved a 0.1% sales tax increase to help pay for public safety services. It added 10 cents onto every $100 purchase.
The tax went into effect about a year ago, and collected $770,200 in the first eight months, according to the city.
That same year, the city authorized a $32 million bond to go toward the project. Once employees move into the new civic center, the city plans to sell old buildings to help with the cost.
City Hall is currently at 1049 State Avenue, and the police department is separate at 1635 Grove Street.
The department has outgrown that space, built in 1986. At that time there were 24 employees. Today, there are about four times as many. In 1980, the city’s population numbered about 5,000. Today, the population is almost 70,000.
On Monday, a group of city staff and other workers lined up for photos as they plunged shovels into a mound of dirt, to mark the beginning of construction.