New Monroe Municipal Campus plan going ahead

MONROE — City public works director Jakeh Roberts discussed the department’s progress on renovating the city’s municipal campus at the March 1 City Council meeting.
The municipal campus project would improve city hall, the municipal court’s space and the Monroe police station, among other facilities.
The Municipal Campus Plan has been in the works since 2008. Now as the plan comes to fruition more than a decade later, all facility upgrades are projected to conclude by the end of 2026.
The plan was delayed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 before resuming in June 2021.
Between now and 2023, the city is working to design the updates to city hall and the municipal court. Following the completion of this phase, construction will begin in the same year and is scheduled to end in 2025.
Police station remodels are set to enter the design phase in 2024, with construction beginning in 2025 and ending the following year.
“There’s a lot wrong physically with our facilities. They are aged and they’re in need of repair, particularly on the northern edge of the campus,” Roberts said.
Though relocating these facilities was initially considered, the council decided in 2019 to remain at its current campus location rather than relocate.
Councilmember Tami Kinney, who previously served on the Monroe Park Board for eight years, applauded that the plan includes bringing in the Parks and Recreation department in the future municipal campus. Kinney said that though the separate building the department currently operates in has its benefits, she looks forward to everyone working together in the renovated building.
Roberts said the project also aims to address a flaw in the Main Street entrance to the campus parking lot. Instead of being a crooked angle, the entry could be brought to a more accessible 90° alignment with the street.
“The entry driveway access off Main Street has always been extremely awkward for this property,” Kinney said.
The plan’s total cost is estimated to be between $21.5–26.5 million, accounting for inflation. Of the project’s four phases, the city hall and municipal court renovations are projected to be the most costly at $16-20 million.
Select city committees will contemplate funding options later this month. After this, the entire council will provide their consideration.
“We know that our city hall is outdated, is in such disrepair, it’s really important that we get a good building for all of our employees,” Councilmember Heather Fulcher said.