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City of South Bend hiring designer to give new home a makeover

Justin Hicks

The city of South Bend is kicking off its move into a new City Hall building.

The city’s Board of Public Works Tuesday will consider awarding a contract for architectural services to design the new building’s renovation.

The city has leased its office space from St. Joe County in the 15-story County-City Building since its construction in 1971. But last year the city bought the South Bend schools’ administrative building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for $2.8 million. The school corporation will move its headquarters to the Brown Community Center, the former Brown Middle School in the Keller Park neighborhood.

City Deputy Public Works Director Jitin Kain said the school corporation will vacate its administration building after this school year. The city plans to bid out construction for interior remodeling this spring, start work in the summer and move in by January 2025.

The move will give the city 50 percent more square footage at a lower annual cost. And Kain says it will realize Mayor James Mueller’s vision of consolidating city office locations, including the Water Works office at Main and Colfax.

Most of the project’s $5 million design and renovation budget will be spent on updating the building’s mechanicals, like replacing the elevators, and gutting the ground floor to create a one-stop shop for city services. Upper floors will only receive cosmetic improvements like paint and carpet.

"From getting new utility starts, to zoning and permitting questions, to paying bills, all those things we expect to have in this one-stop shop," Kain said.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).