JUPITER — Jupiter’s new $24.7 million town hall recently hit a major milestone, when the town and contractor Kaufman Lynn Construction on June 8 celebrated the structure’s topping-off, the moment when the tallest part of a building is put in place.
“The building is progressing nicely,” said Shawn Reed, Jupiter’s community relations manager.
The new two-story, 48,000-square-foot structure is being built immediately west of the existing town hall, which is part of the town’s municipal complex on the southwest corner of Military Trail and Indiantown Road. The town hall’s address, 210 Military Trail, will remain the same.
Once completed, the town hall will be able to sustain hurricane-force winds, something the current town hall is unable to do, officials have said. A 2017 study found that it would take about $10 million to retrofit the existing town hall to make it hurricane-proof.
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With the highest point in place, the next milestone will be when the new town hall is enclosed and able to sustain hurricane-force winds, which should happen by July 15, Mayor Jim Kuretski said.
“This new town hall building represents much more than a physical structure,” Kuretski said. “It is a more fitting and appropriate workplace for our town government staff. It provides more suitable meeting spaces for interacting with Jupiter residents and businesses, enabling us to best serve the Jupiter public.”
The building will have meeting spaces and a common area for the public to gather, he said. The site plan and budget for the project were approved last year.
The new town hall is the latest step as Jupiter updates its facilities on the southwest corner of Indiantown Road and Military Trail, creating a dedicated center for town services. The town hall will join the Jupiter Community Center to its northwest and the new Jupiter police headquarters to the north, which form a ring around the roundabout at the property’s center.
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Once the new town hall is completed later this year, the existing town hall will be demolished and that land will be turned into a town green, Kurestski said.
Crews broke ground on the project Dec. 9 with a goal to move quickly, as rising construction costs and supply chain shortages threatened to slow down the project and make it more expensive. Kaufman Lynn also built the town’s new police headquarters building, which is just north of the new town hall.
According to town records, money for the new town hall came from: $9 million in penny surtax funds, $7.1 million from the building fund, $5.6 million transferred from the general fund and $2.9 million from the water fund.
Tearing down the old town hall and building the town green, which has yet to be designed, are next, Kuretski said.
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The town also has in its strategic plan a goal to try to collaborate with Palm Beach County to possibly develop more indoor gathering space there, with demand at capacity for the current 20-year-old Jupiter Community Center, Kuretski said.
“There always has to be ongoing master planning to serve the public, but these two buildings (the town hall and police headquarters) pretty much build out adequate and appropriate space for employees and residents,” he said.
He added, “For those who come by town hall and have engaged over the years, I want them to be excited that we’ll have much greater accommodations to meet with them and serve them.”