ST. ALBANS CITY — St. Albans City staff will be ringing in the holidays in their temporary digs in the city hall auditorium.
The staff is working out of the auditorium until the renovation of their offices is complete.
Signs inside the building direct visitors into the auditorium, where they’re greeted by a temporary vault with a handwritten sign in front of it. It points to the new location of various offices. Director of Public Works (DPW) Allen Robtoy is off to the right, while the zoning and clerk’s offices are on the left.
So far the public has been fine with the shift, said city clerk Sue Krupp.
The move went smoothly, said Krupp. “The only thing I lost was the cord to my laptop,” she said. It was eventually found.
DPW staff moved the furniture, including the counters for the clerk and zoning offices.
The move has provided more space for researchers needing to access land and other records, according to Krupp. “They’re not having to climb over each other,” she said.
“It’s kind of an adventure,” said the city’s finance manager Sarah Duffy.
The dust and disorder that come with construction have lead to a more relaxed dress code for at least some staff. “Don’t be surprised to see us in jeans and sweatshirts,” said Duffy.
“I’s very cozy,” said city manager Dominic Cloud. “I do like it like this.”
Having everyone working out of the same room makes it easier to collaborate, he said.
The flip side of having everyone in the same room is that it’s possible to hear everyone else’s conversations either on the phone or in person. “We just have to be considerate,” said Duffy.
Cameron hopes to have the upstairs offices complete before Town Meeting Day, and to have moved the staff back to those offices, freeing up more room for the booths and tables needed for elections, according to Krupp.
While visitors can still come in through the front door, that will change when the new elevator arrives. The elevator shaft at the rear of the building is fully constructed and awaiting the arrival of the elevator itself. Once it’s in, visitors will have the ability to enter in the back and take the elevator or stairs to the auditorium. At that point, the front entrance, which is also slated for upgrades, will be closed.
A temporary vault has been constructed in the center of the auditorium, which can resist a fire for one hour, according to contractor Jim Cameron, who is heading up the project.