Rik Sowell, along with team members from Sowell Architects, guided city officials on a tour of the Federal Building and showed them renderings and floor plans of the proposed renovations to what will be the new Conway City Hall.
The ground floor will feature council chambers as well as offices for the Planning, Human Resources and Permitting/Inspections departments.
The second floor will include the mayor’s office, the city attorney’s office, the finance department’s office and a quiet room that Sowell said would be “primarily for nursing mothers.”
He said the renovations include a second-floor balcony and using glass walls “anywhere we could.”
At Mayor Bart Castleberry’s request, the firm plans “for the tornado sirens to be tied to the security system in the basement so that, in the event of severe weather, the basement will become unlocked and available for citizens downtown to seek shelter from inclement weather,” Sowell Architect’s Emily Farris, who has overseen much of the project, said.
Sowell said the public bids will likely be opened in February and renovations could start the following month.
“We could get started maybe in early March,” he said, noting the project could be complete as early as “the end of the summer.”
The back wall of the council chambers could be “a video wall with nine screens working together,” Sowell said.
“I hope that works out,” he said. “We’re looking for the wow factor.”
The proposed color scheme of the building’s exterior and interior is primarily blue and gray.