New Richmond municipal building undergoes much-needed renovations

The New Richmond Municipal Building is in the process of getting a makeover with renovations that will save money and make village council’s home more functional.

The two-phase renovation made several improvements to the building. Phase one focused on structural improvements that will save the village money on electricity.

“We replaced the boiler, it was extremely inefficient,” said Dave Kennedy, administrator. “We replaced all of the windows, which were in poor condition. We also put in a new front door that was better sealed.”

The improvements were partially paid for by a $26,435 grant, the village paid the other half, and employees are already seeing the benefits of the investment.

“It’s definitely more comfortable,” Kennedy said. “It heats up quicker, in one month alone we saved $400. With the windows, the savings will continue through the summer.”

Phase two of the project has also begun. The utilities department was moved into another area of the building so that the police department could expand into the space that could be better used.

“It is a great use of the space,” Kennedy said. “We were having to bring prisoners and somewhat violent people into our workspace. An issue we were trying to resolve.”

The police department will expand into the utility department’s old office and will have several separate rooms. The added space will be used for a reception area, a larger evidence room, an office for an investigator and an interview room.

The utilities department moved into an unused conference room across the hall. Police Chief Randy Harvey came up with the idea and has been doing some of the work himself.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind,” said Chief Harvey. “It helps to satisfy some recent laws as to how business should be conducted.”

Chief Harvey said security and privacy is a big part of what the village is accomplishing with the changes.

Another benefit is that the village is using their own staff members to make the phase two changes. They have reused countertops and furniture. Kennedy said the only expenses were paint and carpeting.

“We did it extremely cost effectively,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also said they tried to stick to building’s original design when they were making changes. The building used to be used as a grade school, and Kennedy said they wanted to keep the same architectural look, but make it efficient so council could be productive there.

“This is a good building for the village,” Kennedy said. “This is where we are staying, this is our home.”