On Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, the new Johnston City Hall opened its doors to the public. City Hall is located in the Johnston Town Center, directly northeast of the existing building. City leaders officially broke ground on the Town Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.
“Seeing the new City Hall open and the Town Center developing around the building is exciting for our community,” said Mayor Paula Dierenfeld. “We heard from residents about the need for an ‘uptown area,’ and we are making it happen! I cannot wait to see people gathering on The Yard for concerts and the Farmers’ Market while watching families enjoying the splash pad. In the winter, families will be able to enjoy the ice rink and the festive atmosphere surrounding the Town Center.”
The new City Hall is 23,853 square feet with many sustainable features, including:
- LEED Silver targeted certification, which is designed to conserve energy.
- A roof-mounted solar array system designed to meet most of the electrical power needs within the building.
- High-efficiency building mechanical systems with building massing and shading to reduce cooling needs.
- High efficiency LED lighting and water fixtures.
Incorporated within the new City Hall are modern features that were lacking in the old building, including:
- City Council Chambers with video recording capabilities.
- Multiple public restrooms with adult-size changing tables.
- Four-sided architecture, making the building more accessible from all directions.
- Building design to accommodate future staff growth without the need for an addition.
To make the site ready for development, a number of trees needed to be removed. To ensure the history of the existing site was incorporated into the new building, a number of these trees were harvested, dried and milled, and reclaimed for use in the new City Hall. These interior features include the main reception area, lobby feature walls, and the tables and podium in the City Council Chambers.
“The use of natural wood is an important architectural feature throughout the interior and exterior of the building,” said Community Development Director David Wilwerding. “In addition, the use of limestone on the building exterior ties the City Hall to the many limestone features present throughout the community.”
The sustainable features were also extended to the site’s exterior. The Johnston Town Center site uses a series of stormwater best management practices designed to infiltrate stormwater runoff, including permeable pavers, bioretention systems and the metro’s largest underground stormwater detention system.
The building will also be surrounded by extensive landscaping, a majority of the plants being used are native to Iowa.
While the new City Hall will be open for business, vehicular access to the building will be limited temporarily to one driveway off NW 63rd Pl. Future entry points to City Hall from Merle Hay Road and NW 62nd Ave. will be completed later this fall and next spring; in the interim, detour signs are in place to help residents navigate the area.
Residents and visitors accessing City Hall can park in the parking lot just to the east or south of the new building, and the primary entrance doors face to the east.
“Community members can be proud of this new facility, and we look forward to announcing businesses that are coming to the area very soon,” said Mayor Dierenfeld.