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Orem City Council get virtual reality look at new City Hall

By Genelle Pugmire - | Jan 24, 2023
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This artist's rendering depicts the new City Hall to be built in Orem.
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This artist's rendering depicts the new City Hall to be built in Orem.
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This artist's rendering depicts the new City Hall to be built in Orem.
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This artist's rendering depicts the new City Hall to be built in Orem.
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The Orem Public Library’s hall auditorium stands with other city buildings Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.

Times have changed, and for the Orem City Council that means instead of standing around a table looking at blueprints to get a glimpse at the new City Hall building, they were looking into the future building Tuesday with virtual reality goggles.

Joe Smith of Method Studio, the architects on the project, held VR presentations for council members interested in the having the experience, while others watched a form of 3D imaging of the building on the large council room screen.

Layton Construction is the contractor for the new building that will be basically in the same location as the current building.

While the building is expected to be in various brown and cream tones with rocks, bricks, glass and steel and a large, modern outdoor clock, the exterior landscaping will feature indigenous plants and grasses with all four sides of the building being lined with trees.

“A nice touch is the trees and (the grouping) gives a nod to our orchards,” said Brenn Bybee, acting city manager.

The building will be three stories with parking on the east side from part of the south end to the north.

There are two third-floor balconies, one to the mayor’s office and another on the east side for various uses. That balcony could be closed in if extra rooms are ever needed, according to Smith.

The main entrances will be on the north and south of the building with an open and modern-looking lobby. The north end will feature an outdoor plaza with a canopy and an eating and visiting area between the City Hall and library hall.

According to Method, the building will be about 74,000 square feet. They are hoping for a groundbreaking in March and it will take about 26 months to complete.

Because of supply chain concerns, Layton has already started ordering materials so they will be ready in the spring.

The budget for the building is about $28 million and both Method and Layton believe they will be able to stay within that budget. The current budget is already set and will not need a bond to build.

“We are getting a big bang for our buck,” Bybee said.

An extra 1,000 square feet has been added on from the original plans, according to Smith.

The council chambers will hold 270 spectators but can be divided for a smaller room. There is a council room, conference room and the training room, which can turn into the emergency center if needed.

“This all looks great. It’s exciting,” said Councilman Terry Peterson.

Method and Layton will be back one more time for the final write off on the building so they can begin soon after. In the meantime, they are hoping the weather will cooperate so they can stay on schedule.

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