Officials consider options for crowded town hall

McCORDSVILLE — McCordsville officials are running out of room in the community’s town hall, leading local representatives to seek options to accommodate the area’s growth.

Since moving into town hall, 6280 West County Road 800N, in 2011, the town council has added the engineering and planning departments to the building — which already housed administration staff as well as the police and public works departments. Those additions, sparked by the area’s growing population, brought in three new staff members, leaving little room for additional office space as the town continues to grow, said town manager Tonya Galbraith.

The town council recently approved a study that will assess the need to hire more town employees to staff public offices — including those that might be housed in town hall now or in the future.

Once the report, contracted to an Indianapolis architectural firm, is completed, town officials will be able to determine what changes need to be made to accommodate growth, whether they include building onto existing facilities or pursuing new construction, Galbraith said.

U.S. census data from 2010 lists McCordsville’s population at about 4,800 residents, and town officials estimate the area has gained more than 2,000 residents in recent years, Galbraith said. The McCordsville comprehensive plan, adopted in 2011, projects the town’s population will reach 11,500 by 2020 as development continues to spread into the area from Indianapolis.

Representatives from Quantum Architecture, an Indianapolis firm leading the study, will meet with town officials in the coming weeks to gauge what current workloads are. The company will tie that information in with population projections to predict how many staff members will be needed to support the community’s anticipated expansion, said Tom Strayer, principal architect for the firm.

Strayer is well- acquainted with the area and its challenges, having served several terms on the McCordsville Town Council. He said the study, estimated to cost about $4,000, should be completed within a month.

Galbraith said the report will help the town determine what operations can continue in town hall without the need for renovations.

If the study determines the town will not be able to continue operating out of its current facility, it will give local officials a sense of how much space they will need in the future, Strayer said.

McCordsville planning director Ryan Crum said the current facility could serve exclusively the town’s public works department in future years, as demand for waste water and other utilities grows.

Since Crum began working for the town in 2013, he’s seen activity in the town swell and doesn’t expect it to subside anytime soon, he said.

“The potential for this community is great; we’re starting to see some of a lot of growth, and we’re excited to see it continue,” he said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.