Talk of the Town
Zionsville celebrates grand opening of new Town Hall building
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Amy Payne
For years, the mayor’s office and other administrative offices were housed in an old church that was erected in 1961. After so many years, the building was turning into a state of disrepair. The original electrical and plumbing was starting to cause problems, plus the structure was not ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant.
“It was time to move on,” says Mayor Tim Haak. So, last year the town began construction on a brand new 42,000 square foot Zionsville Town Hall Building, which opened in September and was officially dedicated on Nov. 15.
“We’ve got a lot more room for ourselves as well as the public now,” Haak says.
For instance, now they’ve got upwards of 10 conference rooms, whereas before they had just four (including the Community Room). Plus, the new Community Room is three times the size of the previous one. The conference rooms and Community Room are also available to civic groups and nonprofit organizations for meetings and events. It’s now much easier to navigate the building due to the signs in the hallways indicating the various departments.
“We organized the layout so that the departments that are most widely used by the public — like the Finance & Records and Planning & Economic Development Departments — are right there in the front of the building on the first floor,” says Amanda Dorman Vela, Director of Communications & Community Relations.
Also on the first floor is Administration and the fire department.
“In the old building, these departments were sort of hidden and difficult to find,” Dorman Vela says. “You didn’t know which department was which because nothing was clearly labeled. Now, everything is easy to follow.”
The public will also appreciate being able to access the building (open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday through Friday) to use the first-floor restrooms and water fountain — especially folks utilizing the adjacent Rail Trail.
“It’ll be a great spot for people using the Rail Trail to stop and rest or fill up their water bottles,” Dorman Vela says.
The public plaza, which is equipped with bike racks and an air pump, is still a work in progress, but come spring they will plant additional landscaping, as well as include other features and amenities, which will be shared at a later date.
The second floor houses the Boone County Senior Services organization as well as the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, previously located in the Village.
“It’s nice all being housed in the same building. It makes working together more efficient and productive,” says Haak, noting that it can be difficult to conceptualize what something is going to look like based on a paper rendering. Once it’s built, however, the beauty and vitality come alive.
“I think folks have been really impressed when they’ve stepped inside,” Haak says.
The public will have a chance to tour the new Zionsville Town Hall at the “Mayor’s Night In,” which will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The event, which will be held in the St. Vincent Community Room, is a chance for community members to come in and talk one-on-one with the mayor and other department heads, get a recap of the year, ask questions and learn about plans for the future. Of course, anyone is welcome to stop by any time during business hours to snoop around as well.
Haak, who grew up in Zionsville and graduated from Zionsville High School, has lived in the community for 40 years and could not be happier.
“When my wife, Leah, and I got married, it was an easy decision to choose to raise our children here,” Haak says. “It looks different and is bigger, of course, but it’s still got that same close-knit community feel, and that’s my favorite thing about living here.”