By GLORIA PLEVA KACIK
The long-awaited move from the old to the new City Hall is finally taking place this week. City employees have been busy packing up their offices for the big event. The new City Hall is located at the old library at Memorial Park. The old City Hall will be open through November 6. On Friday, November 7, the old City Hall will be closed, although residents can access all city hall employees that day by phone, according to North Royalton Economic Development Director, Tom Jordan. “That doesn’t mean that the whole city is down. All others will be working that day.” On Monday, November 10, the new City Hall location will be open at 8:30 a.m. Jordan noted that the construction end of the project has been consistent and true to form from start to finish. “The IT and AV components were more problematic, with technology constantly changing.” With the changes that took place with the dispatch, the fiber optic cabling that was brought in for that project launched the push to continue one, creating the city’s own network. The fiber optic cabling ties all municipal buildings into one city-owned network, which will support the city’s phone system and Internet connectivity. With the fiber optic network, line speed will be faster and more consistent. The citywide network includes City Hall, the two Fire Stations, the Police Station, two Wastewater Plants, Service Department, Office on Aging, Recreation/Cemetery Department and the North Royalton Animal Shelter.
Another change that has taken place involves the city’s phone system. Some of the systems used were up to twenty years old. He noted that the phone systems, which will be voice over IP, are different than the original plan. “I started working on the phone system two years ago,” said Jordan. The phone system will now be complete, city-wide. The Safety Forces will also be utilizing the voice over IP protocol soon. Residents who have tried to call and get a constant busy signal or a no answer will see a difference with the new system,” said Jordan, “and it will cost the city substantially less.”
At this time, there are no plans for the old City Hall. Stefanik said that city officials will be applying for restoration grants to help fund the restoration of the building. “We will be working hard to get grant money,” said Stefanik. Most non-government organizations that currently hold their meetings at the old City Hall will be moved to the new location. “For those members, check with the organization who is sponsoring your meeting, to be sure at which location the meeting will take place,” recommended Jordan.