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Mayor: City Hall Safety Warnings 'Need To Be Addressed Now'

Josh James

Lexington’s aging downtown government center may soon need more than $5 million in repairs, according to a new report. 

EOP Architects warns stone and other portions of the building’s exterior are showing signs of pulling away from the structure, leaving more openings for water damage on the interior.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the experts recommend taking apart and reassembling the entire entryway off Main Street due to failing masonry. The hefty estimated $5.1 million repair bill is sure to rekindle debate over a new city hall, which the council has long sought to locate or build from scratch. But Mayor Linda Gorton says that remains a long term project.

"We can't have a new city hall by next year. This is going to take a while to do," she explains. "Meanwhile, the building envelope, the outside of the current city hall has some serious issues." 

And those needs are pressing. 

"We can't afford to wait for something to happen because we have a safety issue that we didn't fix," Gorton adds. 

If the repairs are postponed, the report cautions that costs will only climb.