During the first full meeting with the new Huntsville City Council in place, the city unveiled new renderings of the proposed future city hall.
The building is being designed by Huntsville firm Goodwyn Mills Cawood and is estimated to cost between $60-70 million.
"We wanted it to have a sense of permanent, civic architecture, but again, it needed to be a modern building that would allow for nice spaces for meetings like this," said Jeff Slayton, the lead architect on the project.
The design for the building came after three public meetings to talk about its appearance. The facility is designed to last for about 75 years, according to Ricky Wilkinson, the director of General Services for the city.
"We do have, within the square footage provided, space that is programmed for expansions of departments. So, we have within the current footprint that allocated for," Wilkinson said.
During Thursday's meeting, Council member Frances Akridge asked about ways to make the building greener, like recycling water and aiming for carbon neutrality. Wilkinson said those are things that the design team is taking under consideration.
"We'll continue to obviously do our best to make sure we're minimizing that footprint as much as we can, but we also have to evaluate the cost associated with that as well," he said.
The building will be erected where the current municipal parking deck sits and it will include new parking that will connect to the future city hall.
A couple of people who spoke at Thursday's meeting said they were worried that the new building wouldn't fit in with the rest of the downtown landscape.
"You know, you can show a rendering that is from 250, 300, 500 feet and it looks to scale. But if you were down on the street level, and you look at that building, it will be grossly over the top of the First National Bank or Cotton Row," said Tom Devenish.
The city is looking to start bidding for the construction contract in spring 2021. The project is estimated to take about 20 months for construction and would be complete around late 2022 or early 2023.
The City of Huntsville hasn't decided what it will do with the land where city hall currently resides.