To celebrate the completed Phase I and II renovation of the historic 1916 Independence City Hall at 120 N. 6th, the City of Independence will host a “Welcome Home Housewarming” Friday, November 3.
Drop-in public tours of the renovated building will be offered from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The Independence Mid-Continent Band is scheduled to play during the ribbon cutting event, reminiscent of a similar performance by the long-standing organization when the original City Hall was christened in 1916.
City of Independence services returned to the building in September, following more than two years of renovation work to improve and modernize the facility to provide ADA accessibility, accommodate updated technology and create more efficient work spaces. Other major building enhancements include new energy efficient windows throughout, a storm-hardened facility for emergency 9-1-1 dispatch services and significant water-proofing efforts to avoid moisture-related environmental concerns, which prompted the relocation of City offices in 2016.
Independence Mayor Louis Ysusi, who served on the community steering committee which was engaged to evaluate City Hall facility options and ultimately championed the renovation project, said much of the building’s historic character has been painstakingly preserved, but important updates and redesign will allow the City to use the space and serve its customers more efficiently and effectively.
“We’re eager to welcome the community back into the new ‘old’ space,” Ysusi said. “I think longtime residents will appreciate the nostalgia that has been maintained, and I’m thrilled this historic building can continue to serve our citizens for generations to come.”
The approximate $9 million investment brings the building up to modern safety and accessibility standards and accommodates all City services previously located there, with the exception of Fire/EMS services, which now operate from a recently constructed facility more centrally located in the community at 900 W. Myrtle.
While the building’s traditional west/6th Street entrance at the top of the front steps is open, an ADA-accessible entrance and parking is now available on the building’s south side. Guests are welcome to use either entrance, and staff will be stationed to assist with tours and answer questions.