New City Hall Almost Ready

Editor Sue

It was Friday, January 16th, 2015, that I was invited to see the inside of the new Victoria City Office Building on Stieger Lake Lane, just hours before the moving-in weekend.† No one would see this particular space unfurnished and nonworking again for a long, long time, if ever,

Mayor Tom OíConnor was part of the tour.† It was amazing and exciting for me, a longtime Victoria resident and business person, to see this new space for city staff, the people who try to work diligently for the good of Victoria.

Others on the tour included Jessica Beise, left, Executive Assistant at City Hall, and Laurie Hokkanen, Victoria City Manager.† For staff, residents, and others who choose the stairs rather than the elevator to City Offices on the second floor, there are great window views.

Jessica pointed out which city employees will be officed in which cubicle.

Laurie showed the room where she will have her desk.

Tom Gray, Victoria Building Official, showed a large table where plan designs can now be easily studied.

Anticipating logistics of the upcoming move.

Jessica and other staff members picked out paint colors, carpet, and other furnishings.

Laurie sat behind the dais in the new City Council Chambers to show that the height is good.† Chairs were ready to be rolled to conference rooms and cubicles.† Chamber chairs are stacked nearby.† A nearby room houses equipment that carries the City of Victoria into the Digital Age.

Mayor Tom OíConnor will conduct his first council meeting in the New City Hall on February 9th, with a ribbon cutting at 5:30 before the regularly scheduled meeting.

Then we climbed the stairs to the rooftop of the new building.† Why?† Because we could.

The snow covered rooftop offered fantastic views of downtown Victoria and Stieger Lake.

Hi, Tom.

A view of downtown Victoria from this high southwest perspective has not existed before today.† Only now is this symmetrical photo possible.† We see the Victoria Bar and Grill front and center.† Fanning out to the left is one of the cityís public parking lots, then the Gannon Building hidden behind the row of evergreen trees, Fresh Seasons Market.† The Clocktower Building is center back with the triangular clocktower.† Fanning out to the right is the adjacent Victoria House restaurant (blue) and the Notermann Building across the street.† The round brick smokestack is on the Creamery Building, home of Enki Brew.

There are some apartment buildings in Victoria, not so well seen from a drive-by perspective.

Directly east of the new Victoria City Hall is a small vacant parcel owned by Tim Forcier of Victoria which the city used as a staging area and construction access throughout 2014, and two buildings that are part of the Kelly Green Irrigation property.† Slightly visible in the background on the right is H.E.I.

The slanted rooftop belongs to the Lakeside Building constructed in 2014 by Hartman Brothers, which is immediately west of new City Hall.† An adjacent public area with benches and retaining walls awaits a new spring.† The regional bike trail runs east-west along the lake (and City Hall) and veers off to the left past the Kidtalk Building and under the City Bridge.† Another path takes you to the Stieger Lake Condos.

This is a better view of the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail next to City Hall and the Lakeside Building.

This easterly direction can connect you to trails in Carver Park, the City of Excelsior, Lowry Nature Center , and† the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.† Victoria is a connected city!

The end of the Rooftop Tour.

Down on the first floor, the new Victoria Library space is also nearing completion.

Amazing views!† Does the City of Victoria have the only Carver County Library on a lake?

The Library Grand Opening is also on Saturday, March 7th.† The digital area and childrenís section of the†† Library are located on the other sides of this reception area.

Back at Old City Offices, boxes and cartons were packed and ready to go.

If you didnít know better, you would have to guess if they were just packed or ready to be unpacked.

It took several days for city office staff to prepare for the move.

Professional movers were hired for the speedy transport from Rose Street to Stieger Lake Lane.

Also during the week of January 12th, 2015, the old Village Hall on Rose Street, which is immediately adjacent and connected to Old City Offices, was being utilized to paint old city file cabinets so they would appear to be fine upstanding color-coordinated soldiers in their new home.

Since 2001, when the Village Hall was still a gymnasium striped for basketball and youth sports, the Hall was renovated and has been the location of carpeted City Council meetings.† The Hall remains the location of the Victoria Lions Pancake Breakfasts, for now.† It was constructed in 1964/1965.

For a time, Victoria City Council meetings were held next to City Offices.† Then it was remodeled into a Conference gathering room for staff and visitors.† What did it used to be back in the 1950ís?† See below.

It was a bar area for special events held at the Village Hall.† The story of Victoria is large and interesting.† Most of it has been accumulating, chronicled, and recorded in the 35-year history of the Victoria Gazette.