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Des Moines City Hall to Reopen After Renovations

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Des Moines' city workers will start moving back into City Hall at the end of the month following a major renovation that will cost nearly $2 million more than anticipated.

The city planned to replace the historic building's heating and cooling system and install a sprinkler system, but contractors encountered additional problems like outdated wiring and bad sewer pipes. The city also expanded the scope of the project.

The add-ons and unforeseen problems raised the total cost of the project from $5.5 million to $7.4 million. Pam Cooksey, the city engineer, said it made sense to do the additional work while the building was vacant.

"With the opportunity with everyone out of the building, there was an opportunity to restore some of the more historic elements of the building, such as widening the first floor hallway," said Cooksey. "That added some public space and customer space for people visiting the city clerk's office."

The city clerk's office will start moving into the building on February 26th and it will be open to the public on March 29th. The first city council meeting at the newly-renovated building will take place in April.