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North Liberty’s new City Hall opens its doors

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The city of North Liberty has a new home.

The staff moved to the new North Liberty City Hall at 360 North Main Street in late April. The council held its first meeting on Tuesday, preceded by a commemorative ribbon cutting and an open house.

The building is located in the heart of the city, adjacent to the police and fire departments, halfway between important public facilities such as the community center and the city’s public library.

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Spacious new excavations

The new City Hall offers extensive meeting and office space equipped with the latest technology, a massive upgrade from a decade-long stay in a former pediatrician’s office.

The building now houses the city government, North Liberty’s billing and finance department, building inspection staff, city planning, community relations and human resources.

Blueprints also kept the community in mind, Nick Bergus, director of North Liberty Community Relations, told Press-Citizen, by providing an outdoor patio where people can have lunch, hang out and, in the future, perhaps enjoy a public concert.

That space is what fascinates Bergus and his colleagues most.

“(The patio) welcomes the community into this building… and it will be a place to come and sit with your family and have ice cream, see a local artist or be on the lawn,” Bergus said. “We want the public to be able to come here, not just to pay a utility bill or for a city council meeting, but for everyday fun and good causes.”

The terrace area can be connected to a nearby meeting room – “The 4191” – which is available for use at public events.

A gentle nod to history

The multiple meeting and conference rooms all pay tribute to the city’s history.

  • The 4191 – A shortened version of the city’s approximate latitude and longitude. The building is located at approximately 41.7 degrees north latitude and 91.5 degrees west
  • North Bend – The original name of the area now known as North Liberty, which refers to the northern bend of the Iowa River
  • Interurban – The type of railroad system that runs through Johnson and Linn counties and became famous for its passenger routes in the 20th century
  • Red Ball Route – The precursor to the Avenue of the Saints, connecting Saint Paul, Minnesota and St. Louis, Missouri to the heart of Johnson County, including North Liberty and Iowa City

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An open floor plan in a government building

Bergus noted how the two-story building integrates open space to maximize efficiency and create useful spaces.

For example, downstairs near the employee entrance is a mudroom where building inspectors can clean up after an inspection, Bergus said. This space can also be used by employees who like to cycle to work – such as Bergus – to tidy up before going inside on a wet spring or warm summer day.

The town hall as a whole was a long time coming.

“I think it’s honestly a modern facility that meets our needs,” Bergus said. “It’s been decades, literally decades, since we’ve had a purpose-built space, so just to be able to have that kind of gathering space for staff, there’s some real efficiency that comes from that.”

Ryan Hansen covers local government and crime for the Press-Citizen. He can be reached at [email protected] or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @ryanhansen01.