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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

About time for Lawrence City Hall


By Mary Hart
Correspondent

Lawrence City Hall at 200 Common Street is the building that now anchors the city of Lawrence.

Renovations made in 1972 were beginning to fade and the building obviously needed some help. That's why Mayor Michael Sullivan worked to renovate the building with the City Council.

In 2003, Mayor Sullivan with the City Council borrowed the money they needed to renovate the hall.

"We didn't use tax funds or anything like that," Sullivan says. "Instead, we went to banks and companies and borrowed the money just like anyone would to buy or renovate a house."

Top on the list of repairs were the clocks. There are four clocks on top of the tower and, as Sullivan says, "Since I've been in office, the clocks have only been right twice a day. These clocks hadn't worked in about 27 years and the adage is that if the clocks are broken, then the walls around the clocks are probably broken as well, so we started the renovations at the top with the clocks and walls."

Now, with the clocks fixed, you actually can tell what time it is from the clocks and they chime every half hour. If it's ever needed, Sullivan could also broadcast information to the city through the chimes.

"There's an adaptor in my office that connects to the chimes and would allow me to speak through the same system and make announcements to the city as needed," he says.

Renovations to the outside of City Hall have cost $2.3 million to date, and now the Capital Improvement Plan will be working on the inside of the hall over the next three years. Interior renovations include making all four floors of the hall fully handicapped-accessible, from the basement to the city council and town clerk's offices on the first floor and all the way up to the mayor's office on the third floor.

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