Permanent village hall rapidly taking shape

The new building that will become the permanent village hall for Palmetto Bay is so far along in the construction process that it’s immediately recognizable to anyone who has seen the architect’s renderings.

Located at 9705 E. Hibiscus, on the site of the former Neighbors Supermarket, the new village hall is expected to be completed by October or November. The roof will soon be completely in place, what they call “topping out” in construction jargon, and the dome over the clock tower will be added shortly.

“Everything is on schedule,” said Mayor Eugene P. Flinn, Jr. when interviewed on Wednesday, May 12. “Because there’s a need for work right now, the construction crews have been able to give this their undivided attention. I think that the only thing that could delay the project at this point is if a product, like windows or something else, isn’t delivered on time, or if we get any hurricanes.”

Designed as a USBG LEED-certified Platinum building, the new village hall will be the first municipal center of its kind in Florida. The building will use solar cells to produce more than 57 percent of its needed power, will use 98 percent LED lighting and a special new air-conditioning system that is supposed to reduce the cooling load by more than 30 percent, all of which will reduce day-to-day costs.

The building also will capture rainwater to use for flushing and irrigation purposes, using a 30,000-gallon cistern for storage, one of the largest such systems in South Florida.

“They’re using special paver stones that allow us to collect the rain water,” Flinn said. “This is going to be a truly ‘green’ and hopefully precedent-setting example of ‘LEEDership.’ Seriously, though, I feel really good about how we’re doing on the project.

“We’ve got the timing and price — a great price on everything — and we’re going to be doing great things with economically revitalizing that area by having a unique village hall there, and there’s the environmental aspects of the village. We’re going to show that it can be done and done quite efficiently. And the taxpayers are going to get it back in reduced operating expenses in the years ahead.”

The new village hall, the first Palmetto Bay municipal headquarters that hasn’t borrowed or rented space for its offices, is close to S. Dixie Highway and on Franjo Road, so it’s easily accessible.

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