By Melissa Delekta
Grand Ledge Gazette Reporter
GRAND LEDGE– Grand Ledge opened its new City Hall on Jan. 21 at what was once the location of Greenwood Elementary School, 310 Greenwood St.
The project to renovate the old elementary school cost $2.5 million, said Mayor Kalmin Smith, which is far more affordable when a brand new building would have cost anywhere from $7.5 million to $10 million.
The City of Grand Ledge’s Project and Initiatives Report said over the course of six months, renovations made to all but three classrooms created offices, meeting spaces, police facilities and council chambers.
One of the differences between the new and the old building is accessibility.
“First and foremost it’s a one story building,” said Jon Bayless, city administrator. “The police department used to be in the basement, and it was so difficult to access for some citizens, many times there were meetings held in the parking lot.”
Mayor Smith is also a fan of the accessibility feature: “The new building will benefit the community in many ways. The increased and improved space makes it possible to serve the community more effectively,” Mayor Smith said.
Officer Darin Larner agrees that the new City Hall helps to make serving the community easier.
“The planning committees did a great job,” Larner said. “The building is great for community projects, there is plenty of parking, and it is very professional.”
The decorations hanging in the new City Hall also have Mayor Smith excited.
“The art and art objects on display in the building on loan from the Grand Ledge Historical Society reflect the history and character of the community, which will benefit and be appreciated by all who visit the building,” Mayor Smith said.
Head of the Grand Ledge Historical Society, Marilyn Smith, is just as happy with the arrangement.
“We are delighted to have the art out and about so people can appreciate it,” Marilyn Smith said. “To be able to showcase it for the public to see is wonderful.”
Marilyn Smith said that the Grand Ledge Historical Society only has the space to display one or two things at a time, so this is a great opportunity.
The new City Hall is located at 310 Greenwood St. and is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mon- Fri.
For questions, comments or concerns contact Melissa Delekta at firstname.lastname@example.org