See plans for newly-designed D'Iberville City Hall

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - D'Iberville City Hall still looks broken and battered from Katrina. Three-and-a-half years later, the floors are stripped to the bare concrete, the walls are cut to remove the flood damage, and the siding is still crumbled.

"We still have a problem with the roof leaking from the damage from the storm," said D'Iberville Planning Director Deonne Olier.  "The building does stay cold. I have a heater running right now.  It's drafty from the windows and the walls not being completed."

"We've gotten used to it, but it doesn't make you want to dress up a whole lot whenever you come to work," she added.

Another problem is the cramped conditions. Since the city added eight more employees after Katrina, the Planning Department must share space with city court workers. And the Building Department had to move into a double wide trailer.

"There's not much room here to be able to sit and talk with someone when they have private business they want to discuss with the city," said D'Iberville Building Official Hank Rogers. "We're on top of each other. We're crowded."

City employees can look forward to having more room to move. The city has finished plans to triple the size of city hall by adding a three-story building just north of the current structure. The expansion will house Administrative offices, the Planning, Building, and Community Development Departments, and the council chamber and offices. Just past the lobby, you'll see a gallery that will display artifacts and documents that showcase the city's rich history.

The existing City Hall building will also undergo extensive renovations.  The current council chamber will be converted into city court.  The former city court and Planning Department area will be turned into the Building and Permits Department, and the Water and Sewer Department will stay put.

The office spaces will be a lot bigger, because the front of the building will extend about ten feet. And the facade will take on a new design that will tie in to the architecture of the new addition next door.

Every employee had some input in the building's design and layout.  Afterall, the spacious, modern building will serve the city for the next 50 years.

"I'm just hoping that it'll hurry up, and not be delayed because of weather," said Olier.

"I think the citizens are going to be very proud of it," said Rogers.

The expansion will cost $6.5 million. It's being funded by FEMA, insurance, and the Mississippi Development Authority. Bids will be awarded in May, and construction is expected to start sometime this summer.