Warrenton opens new building for public gatherings and court


NEW COMMUNITY BUILDING — The new Warrenton Annex Building, located on Walton Street behind City Hall, offers twice as much room for city meetings and municipal court, and is equipped with a full kitchen and bathrooms to host community events. Adam Rollins photo.
By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

The city of Warrenton has opened a new hall for alderman meetings, municipal court, and potentially community events.

Known simply as the “Annex Building,” the new gathering chambers were converted from a large pavilion just south of Warrenton City Hall. It offers more than double the space of the chamber previously used for the board of aldermen and municipal court.

City Director of Operations Brandie Walters said planning for the conversion began more than a year ago, prompted by new regulations for municipal court hearings and the need to accommodate more members of the public in a growing city. Construction began in fall 2019.

In addition to fitting significantly more people for city business, Walters said the facility offers potential for community activities.

“We will be investigating the possibility of allowing the public to rent the facility in the future, as well as hosting some of the city’s special events inside this facility,” Walters told The Record. “We also look forward to introducing some local events for all age groups that we previously did not have a large enough space to accommodate. This room has been fitted with restroom facilities as well as a full kitchen area to allow the greatest number of possibilities for its use in the future.”

Specialized sound and camera systems are also installed in the building for the city’s public meetings.

The main room of the Annex Building is a little under 2,500 square feet, with a total building footprint of approximately 3,300 square feet, Walters estimated.

Construction was done mostly by the city’s own staff, with contractors installing insulation, HVAC and asphalt parking. The project budget was $84,200, Walters said.

Construction was delayed earlier this year during the onset of COVID-19 and new social distancing rules, Walters said. Despite the challenge of working under the new rules, city staff were able to accomplish the project

The Annex Building was first opened ahead of schedule in September, to allow dozens of area residents to express their concerns about a development proposal along Sunnyside Road.

“The need to provide a space to accommodate that meeting created a significant shortened time frame in the schedule. Our city crew did an amazing job pushing this up to get it ready,” Walters commented. She said city crews were thanked for the high quality of work they did throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.

The city’s former meeting chambers in Warrenton City Hall will be converted into a conference room and offices for future city staff, Walters added.

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