Urbana Hires Firm For Facilities Master Plan

The Urbana City Building

The Urbana City Building is one of the buildings to be assessed as a team from CannonDesign begins work on a long-term facilities master plan for city government.

Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

The city of Urbana has hired a consulting firm to create a thirty-year master plan for city facilities. The project has been one of Diane Marlin’s priorities as mayor of Urbana, and something she says is 15 to 20 years overdue for the city.

In the first phase of the project, a Chicago-based team from the architectural firm CannonDesign will study the condition of city facilities.

“The first phase, the firm will conduct an assessment of all city facilities in terms of their condition and repair and maintenance needs,” said Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin. “And that includes, of course, the city building, public works facilities, all the outlying buildings, all the fire substations and the Civic Center.”

The Urbana Civic Center is set to close at the end of the year, in part because the city never budgeted for the extensive repairs the building needs. Marlin says a facilities master plan will help the city do a better job of budgeting for building maintenance, and planning for its future needs.

“Longer term is, are we looking at redevelopment of some sites or new construction?” said Marlin. “But, unless you know what you have and what you’re dealing with, you can’t make decisions about anything.”

Marlin says the CannonDesign team will probably be asked to review the future needs of the Market At The Square program. The popular downtown farmer’s market currently operates in a portion of a city-owned parking lot that serves the privately-owned Lincoln Square Mall.

Marlin says the city budgeted $75 thousand for phase one of the facilities study, which is the review of its present buildings.  Phase two will be an assessment of Urbana city government’s space needs. And phase three will be the production of a facilities master plan for the next thirty years.

Marlin says the price for carrying out the second and third phases is subject to future negotiations with CannonDesign.

Story source: WILL