Baraboo’s new city hall went from concept to concrete this year as the multimillion-dollar facility went up over the Baraboo River.
In March, the Common Council approved Kraemer Brothers’ $9 million bid to build the facility, which will house city administrative offices and the Police Department. The Plain firm was the low bidder, coming in well below the $15 million city leaders thought the facility might cost.
By summer the facility’s skeleton was built at the intersection of South Boulevard and Lynn Street. By year’s end its walls were enclosed. City staff will move there in March.
Facing increasing pressure to alleviate crowding and remove police work from public corridors, city leaders decided last year to replace their aging municipal building. City leaders wanted to vacate their cramped quarters on Fourth Street, built in 1962 and expanded and reconfigured over the years. Police Chief Mark Schauf sought a more secure setting, where investigative work wouldn’t take place in the same hallways where citizens conduct daily business.
The two-story building lies on 3.5 acres of blighted riverfront property. The new facility was designed to last 30 to 40 years, and was built to allow for future expansion.
The Baraboo Fire Department will remain at the municipal building, which will be renovated.