The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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College Station dedicates new city hall

Photo by Photo by Nathan Varnell

The new College Station City Hall is open in time for the holidays.

“‘Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the track,’” Mayor Karl Mooney said.

The City of College Station cut the ribbon on a new city hall and official city seal Tuesday, Dec. 7, setting the course for future public service. The nearly 80,000-square-foot building sits adjacent to the former city hall and 1207 fire station on Texas Avenue, which will also see refurbishment in the coming months, director of Public Communications Jay Socol said. The event was attended by mayors and city council members past and present, as well as representatives of Brazos County, of the offices of Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Pete Sessions and other local elected officials.

Mayor Karl Mooney and city manager Bryan Woods gave opening remarks, before cutting the dedication ribbon with “a disturbingly large pair of scissors,” Socol said.

“The need for and commitment to build a city hall, as many of these former mayors and council members could attest to, has spanned decades of debate and desire,” Mooney said. “While we will forever be grateful to the architects, the engineers and the workers for many trades who have dedicated their skills to making this building a reality — under budget, and completed nearly four months ahead of schedule — we must acknowledge what has been created is a public space … for the community to brand this edifice to be our citizens’ city hall.”

Upon dedication, the front doors of College Station City Hall were opened to the public and the many civil servants who will move into new offices by the end of the week. The event was the first time city staff were able to see the new space for themselves, Socol said.

“We will forever be thankful to the many city staff, who — especially in the past few decades — tolerated cramped and inadequate space, rainwater running down the inside of windows, flooded offices and hallways and even the dubious joy of looking skyward to see the sun where a roof should be,” Mooney said.

The hall’s first visitors were met with Christmas decorations and music performed by a string quartet from the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra. Over the set of double doors at the building’s entrance is set the city’s new official seal, depicting a Union Pacific locomotive. The architecture of the building — particularly the lobby, Mooney said — is intended to hearken back to the train stations that gave the city its name.

“The city of College Station, Texas, has officially existed since 1938,” Woods said. “However, until today, we have never possessed a traditional city seal. So, if you look behind me, right up there over the doors, you will see the new seal of the city of College Station, Texas. It pays tribute to the Bush 4141 locomotive and our 41st president, Texas A&M University, Union Pacific and our armed forces. These elements say everything about College Station.”

To conclude, Mooney and Woods both thanked the men and women who designed, built and work in city hall and saw the project to completion.

“I’ve said to a few folks, if you want to know what it’s like to build one of these, it’s like renovating on the same property you live on with every family member [who is] going to live in it with you,” Woods said. ”And all of them have an opinion about what it should look like, and everyone in your neighborhood are the ones who paid for it.

“On top of all that, it has an incredible view across the street of the reason we’re all here. I’m excited for you guys to see that; make sure you go all the way up to the third floor.”

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