Consultant Rich Lundeen of Mead & Hunt (standing) delivered a number of building use alternatives to Marinette city leaders Thursday as part of a needs assessment study. The firm looked at city hall, the police and fire departments, the Civic Center and Department of Public Works garage. Mayor Denise Ruleau is pictured front left. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
Consultant Rich Lundeen of Mead & Hunt (standing) delivered a number of building use alternatives to Marinette city leaders Thursday as part of a needs assessment study. The firm looked at city hall, the police and fire departments, the Civic Center and Department of Public Works garage. Mayor Denise Ruleau is pictured front left. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
MARINETTE - The City of Marinette is looking down the road at a time when its current facilities no longer meet the needs of the public. To accomplish that in an organized and well thought out way, the city hired the Madison, Wis., architectural firm of Mead & Hunt.

Consultant Rich Lundeen met Thursday with the Needs Assessment Ad Hoc Committee.

"This is an extension of the original study that was done for the city hall and police station," said Lundeen. "The outcome of that study was that every time we had a solution or made a change, we affected everybody else, it was just a snowball effect."

Because of that, Mead & Hunt decided to look at all city facilities and to get a feel from the mayor, council members and the community about what's needed as far as services and maintenance.

The most recent study looks at an assortment of options for the police and fire departments, city hall, Department of Public Works garage and the Civic Center. In each case choices ranged from leaving the facility as is, remodeling or building new. There was no talk of costs associated with any of the options at Thursday's meeting.

Among the ideas being explored is the addition of a parking garage/sally port to the police station. A sally port enables police officers to securely bring a prisoner in, minimizing the risk of escape and injury. Such a feature would use most if not all of the municipal parking lot.

Other options involve joining the police and fire departments in one facility, building new or moving to the county law enforcement center. Nothing has been set in stone and those are just some of the ideas being looked at.

The same holds true for the fire department. Lundeen had high praise for the level of service and expertise in Marinette but said the current facility lacks adequate facilities for women. He noted that if a female firefighter were to be hired, accommodations would have to be made for sleeping and bathroom areas. Options with the present building include adding an annex on the west side or building new.

The garage for the Department of Public Works probably had the least options. Lundeen said it was apparent the building has sustained some structural damage but that it could be remodeled, perhaps with a with new storage building added.

City hall is currently located in what used to be the J.C. Penny store. Extensive remodeling was done years ago to make into the complex it is today. But according to Lundeen, there are fewer employees at city hall now than there were back then. He listed a number of possibilities for the future including moving into the former sheriff's department located on Ella Court Street by the courthouse.

Much of the hour-long discussion focused on the Civic Center, looking at the pool, locker area and tennis and hockey domes. The city currently subsidizes the outdoor pool to the tune of $70,000 a year with most of that expense being maintenance. The study examined the cost factor and the fact there are several other pools serving the community, all of which are indoors.

The Civic Center pool is only in use during the summer months and has a depth of 12 feet at the deep end. The decking is showing signs of deterioration and special pumps have had to be added because the pool itself lifts up when the ground water level is high.

Lundeen listed a few ideas such as renovating or building a new pool, privatization or phasing it out altogether.

As for the tennis and hockey domes, Lundeen said he was impressed that a temporary covering that was supposed to last just 15 years has now lasted 30. He said the rates paid for ice time here are a bargain compared to other rinks in the region. Like the pool, future options include building new, privatizing or phasing out.

No action was taken by the committee since the meeting was informational only.