City officials are looking into renovating the council chambers inside City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road, along with making security updates to some city buildings.

City officials are looking into renovating the council chambers inside City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road, along with making security updates to some city buildings.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

Southfield buildings in talks for facelift, security upgrades

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 21, 2020


SOUTHFIELD — City officials are looking into the costs associated with upgrading the council chambers and tightening security in various city buildings.

Deputy City Administrator John Michrina came before the Southfield City Council Jan. 13 to discuss bid requests for design and construction of the council chambers, as well as campus safety and security improvements.

City Administrator Fred Zorn said in council documents that the plans for the new chambers include a reconfiguration design with a new, elevated dais to provide Americans with Disabilities Act access and new safety features, along with a reconfiguration of chamber seating to provide separation between the audience and the dais.

Improvements also include upgrades to exits, new carpeting, new design elements, and electrical work, including new lighting and upgrades to the audio/visual equipment.

Michrina said at the meeting that OHM Advisors has been assisting the city with the task of drawing up plans to improve the council chambers.

“OHM was brought in to assist us in devising conceptual changes and improvements that could be made to this room to make it acceptable for all council meetings,” he said.

However, the consulting firm set the price of the renovations at $70,000, so officials are looking for more opinions.

“At that price, the administration feels competitive bids are appropriate,” Michrina said.

“This will also provide architectural and/or engineering firms that have not worked with the city of Southfield the opportunity to bid on the work,” Zorn said in council documents.

Also on tap for 2020 is an upgrade to the security at several buildings within the municipal complex.

“When these buildings were built — and I mean the Pavilion, public service, parks and rec and City Hall — all buildings had a public address system that the Police Department could use with speakers to notify the occupants,” Michrina said. “Well, over the decades, due to reconfiguration of the building and, quite frankly, lack of maintenance, less than half the square footage is equipped with a public address system.”

Along with the public address system, Michrina said, the buildings are also in need of new locks, and they will be seeking bids for an electronic lock system to replace the outdated use of keys.

“Most of these locks have never been changed. Over the years, the keys have been stolen, lost or simply never returned when people left. We really do not have adequate control of these four buildings,” Michrina said.

Michrina said that there is an option to give people specific access to specific parts of buildings at certain times, and to keep a record of who is coming and going.

Zorn said in council documents that, should anything go awry, first responders will have the ability to bypass the electronic locks.

“The police and fire departments and facility maintenance on-call staff will be issued keys that can bypass the electronic lock in the event of failure,” Zorn said. “Most office doors facing nonpublic areas of the building will remain keyed only with mechanical keys.”

Funds for the projects are not yet budgeted, Zorn said in the documents.

The bid process could take up to two months, Michrina said.