Making room for the new 10-member city council in Austin
The buzzing of saws and zipping of drills aren’t the sounds you typically hear coming from the Austin city council chambers. The seats that used hold civically engaged Austinites are now covered in plastic tarp; the windows that once let in natural light and provided glimpses of the cityscape outside have been covered with protective paper; and the dais where Austin’s six council members passed laws that shaped our city and influenced our economic prosperity has been reduced to a pile of wood.
Jamail & Smith Construction was selected through our JOC program with the City of Austin to demolish the old dais and build a larger one for the expanded council. This $675,000 project is part of the City’s 10-1 package that makes room for the 10-member council. The new 13-seat dais will be made from solid pecan wood and will feature updated media systems, security measures, and HVAC. During demolition, our team carefully removed a three-inch strip of wood from Treaty Oak that was on the old dais, and we will incorporate that piece of Austin history into the new structure. Additional construction in the council chambers will include a new clerk’s desk, media table, staff table and two press tables.
Our team is also expanding the council’s executive room from 650 SF to 1,000 SF to accommodate the new members. The room will feature double-thick walls for sound proofing, as well as a wood ceiling with sound barriers. All woodwork in the executive room will match that of the council chambers.
Finally, the Jamail & Smith team is remodeling a space into two rooms, one for the City Hall master control room and the other for Cable Channel 6. Although this is not a LEED certified project, our team is following strict LEED activities for single-stream disposal. This ensures that all waste is recycled when possible. The renovation of the council chambers is scheduled for completion on September 30 with the new council sitting on January 15, 2015.