Staff, council share Town Hall design preferences

Published 10:00 am Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Members of the Windsor town staff and Windsor Town Council gathered Monday, June 17, to review revised floor plans for a new municipal building that were recently provided by Moseley Architects.

Staff and council members shared their design preferences among the three different floor plan options provided, and they also shared new design ideas developed during their review process.

Near the beginning of the June 17 work session, Windsor Town Manager William Saunders said, “As you’re aware, we recently received updated floor plan options from Moseley Architects. They were received after the April 30 work session and before our June 11 meeting, at which y’all decided to have another work session tonight on these floor plans.

“We’ve discussed some of these changes amongst town staff, and I kind of made a de facto review committee between (Town Treasurer) Cheryl (McClanahan), (Town Clerk) Kelly (Kuhns) and myself, and we met on this, and we have some similar concerns and similar thoughts in a lot of ways,” Saunders continued. “And I will also mention that as the architects have said that any one floor plan, you’re not necessarily tied to it. If you see elements on one that you might want to try to mix and match into another one, it’s still something that should be considered if proposed, if that’s the case.”

Following is a selection of comments made by staff and council members during the June 17 meeting.

Saunders opened the floor to discussion about the revised floor plans for a new Windsor Town Hall, and Windsor Mayor George Stubbs noted that he wanted to hear from the town staff.

“People that are going to be working in it I think need to have input in it,” Stubbs said.


Drawing from Kuhns’ comments, Saunders stated that Floor Plan – Option 2, which is 7,677 square feet, was a favorite and there are some good elements in it.

Referring to the council chambers, Saunders said, “We wondered if the dais was larger than it needed to be,” noting that it could potentially seat 14 people as designed. “It may be that that can be decreased in size, have more room for seating in the chamber otherwise.”

He noted that Floor Plan – Option 3, which is 8,192 square feet, has two different sets of staff restrooms, which the staff committee did not see as necessary in a building this size.

“If somebody’s having an emergency, it’s not like you can’t go to the public restroom as well, but the building is not so large that you need to have bathrooms on both sides of it for staff,” he said. “So while I might enlarge what’s there enough to have two stalls, I wouldn’t want to have two separate sets of bathrooms to have two stalls. I think that space can be used better elsewhere.”

Saunders said McClanahan preferred Option 3, but she did note the disadvantages of having a file room that was open to walking through.

“Cheryl also wondered about potentially getting rid of the assistant treasurer office,” Saunders said. “I don’t know if I want to go that far, but I’d be willing to rob a couple feet off of it for the clerk and treasurer’s office on either side.”

Saunders said he did not think the open assembly space on the left hand side of the front of Option 3 was worthwhile.

“I could come to regret that, but I can’t really visualize where that space is worthwhile, but I could be talked out of that if somebody had good enough ideas,” he said. “I do think we probably could take a couple spaces off the dais to give another row of seating in the council chambers.”

He said he liked the planning suite, particularly as it is laid out in Option 2, though he noted that Option 1 was not bad because it also has a plan review area.

“As far as the expansion, a couple of (the options) showed potential expansion on the left or rear,” he said. “We talked about this, and I think they did bring up a good point that to add on to the rear would be to block the windows and the natural light into all those offices across the back, which there’s value in (having the natural light there). And on the left hand side, you’ve got a file room, potentially the council office, conference room, mechanical room — things that aren’t so critical to lose a window…”

As he concluded his presentation of the staff comments, Saunders said, “I think we’ve got a lot of stuff together now that we could make some recommendations on a plan, and the plan that we’re talking about probably wouldn’t end up being any one of these (options). I guess if anything it would be Option 2 revised.”


Stubbs recommended eliminating the visitor/guest coffee station and visitor/guest water refill station near the front of the building.

Saunders said the water refill station may be in conjunction with a water fountain, which, if true, would prompt him to want to retain it.

Multiple council members expressed support for eliminating the temporary council office, though Vice Mayor J. Randy Carr advocated for keeping it.

“Leave the temporary council office like you’ve got it, because I see one day that that could possibly turn into a mayor’s office if the town grew and the mayor wanted to come in to spend some time in the mayor’s office,” he said.

Carr produced a notable series of suggestions near the end of the meeting that Saunders recorded. Carr’s ideas allowed for an open assembly area.

Councilman David Adams expressed support for an open assembly area at the front of the Town Hall, thinking that it could be the site of a Christmas tree lighting event, but Saunders and other council members had a differing perspective, and Adams was understanding of it.

“Honestly, if we were a bigger locality and we had more like a parks and rec staff and other types of things where we’re doing more recreation-type things, having groups in, it’d be a valuable space,” Saunders said. “But we’re not there, and I don’t know that we’re going to be there in the next at least 10 years. It’s a neat concept, though.”

Councilman Walter Bernacki asked if the Windsor Town Center was not the more appropriate venue for an assembly area.

“This is more of a business building,” Bernacki said of the prospective municipal building.

Addressing the town staff with regard to the overall design of the new Town Hall, Bernacki said, “Whatever’s more functional for you guys I’m in on because you’re the people that are going to be using it. I just want it to be safe, ergonomic and user-friendly for you guys.”

Adams said he favored Floor Plan – Option 3, though he recommended against having pew-style seating for the public in the council chambers.

When asked, Councilman Jake Redd indicated that he did not have any design suggestions. He questioned how much changing some of the design elements will matter in terms of cost.

“I think it’s going to be expensive no matter how you cut it up, so that being said, I think all three layouts are nice, and I’m really OK with whatever William and you all decide is most efficient,” he said.

Adams echoed that emphasis and said to town staff, “You guys are going to be in the building, so you’ve heard kind of what we would like to see or some of our options. And can you factor in what you guys want to see, and maybe we can have the architect redraw based on our feedback and yours and see what that looks like?”

“Yep,” Saunders replied. “We’ll meet again and discuss some of the points y’all have brought up and finalize some recommendations based on all of our comments, and we’ll send that to the architect and see if they can put us together a new draft or two that incorporates this.”