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Moving Date Now In Sight
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As work continues on the new 'Civic Center' that will house the bulk of Escalon city departments, officials are eyeing an early 2012 move in date.

Construction has passed the halfway point, with the building at 2060 McHenry now fitted with the glass windows, the floor poured and progress being made on a daily basis.

"Things have gone very well to date," said Escalon City Engineer-Public Works Director John Abrew. "They've hung the dry wall, done the exterior glass."

The local C.T. Brayton and Sons, Inc. is lead contractor and Abrew said they have been very good to work with, as well as lining up solid subcontractors for the job. Once the building is fully enclosed and the dry wall has been textured, the 'finish work' of painting and detailing can begin.

"We're looking to finish up by about the second week in February," Abrew noted.

Construction has moved along relatively problem-free and hasn't had to deal with much rain to date, either.

"It becomes less of an issue every week," Abrew said of the weather. "When we get all closed in, it won't matter."

The long-awaited construction of the Civic Center, to go along with the Escalon Police and Recreation Department facility at 2040 McHenry, will bring all city departments except Public Works in to one centralized area.

Public Works will maintain its Corporation Yard and office site on Main Street.

Other departments housed both at the current City Hall at 1854 Main and in the former police department site at 1855 Coley will relocate to 2060 McHenry. The Escalon City Council will also take up residence in new chambers in the facility, moving meetings there from the Escalon Library and they will enjoy a new audio visual system as part of the arrangement.

"Tentatively the move in is the last weekend of February," Abrew said. "We will probably have a formal grand opening a couple of weeks after that."

The community will be given enough notice of the move to prepare, as they will have to go to the new location on McHenry to pay utility bills, arrange for water, sewer or garbage service, get business permits and the like.

Engineering tech Dave Ruby is serving as the project manager for the work and is on site every day, said Abrew.

"He did that for the police department facility construction as well and is doing a great job," Abrew said of Ruby.

The centralization of services is something all city officials are looking forward to, he added.

"One location, one building, we can streamline and that means better service to the public," Abrew said.

The police department moved into its McHenry location two years ago this month and Abrew said the two projects were initially bid out together. Financial constraints allowed for only the construction of the police department then.

"The original bids we got in '09 for the city hall versus now, we shaved approximately $500,000 off the price," Abrew said, with the market turning in the city's favor. "The city leaders and city council were very pleased that we were able to drastically reduce the cost and still maintain the functionality of the building."