Orem City Council takes a look in virtual reality at the new City Hall | News, sports, jobs


The view shows the new Orem City Hall facing east.

Courtesy Orem City


A rendering of the main entrance on the south side, or central street side, of the new Orem City Hall. The atrium overlooks the northern plaza and Mount Timpanogos.

Courtesy Orem City


Orem Public Library auditorium stands with other city buildings Tuesday, December 22, 2020.

Isaac Hill, Daily Herald file photo

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

Jo Smith of Method Studio, the architects on the project, held virtual reality presentations for council members interested in getting the experience, while others watched some form of 3D imaging of the building on the large council room screen.

Leighton Construction is the contractor for the new building, which will be essentially on the same site as the existing building.

While the building is expected to be various shades of brown and cream with rock, brick, glass and steel and a large, modern exterior clock, the exterior landscaping will feature indigenous plants and grasses with all four sides of the building lined with trees.

“A nice touch are the trees and (the gathering) gives a nod to our orchards,” said Brian Babyby, acting city manager.

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

There are two balconies on the third floor, one for the mayor’s office and one on the east side for various uses. According to Smith, that porch could be closed off if additional rooms were ever needed.

The main entrances will be to the north and south of the building with an open and modern looking atrium. The north end will feature an open air plaza with canopy and a dining and visitation area between the town hall and library hall.

According to Method, the building will be approximately 74,000 square feet. They are hoping for a new feat in March that will take about 26 months to complete.

Due to supply chain concerns, Layton has already begun ordering materials so they can 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 has already been set and you will not need a building bond.

“We’re making big bang for our reward,” said Babyby.

An additional 1,000 square feet were added from the original plans, according to Smith.

The council chambers hold 270 spectators but can be divided into a smaller room. There is a council room, a conference room and a training room, which can be turned into an emergency center if necessary.

“It all sounds great. It’s exciting,” said council member Terry Peterson.

Method and Layton will be back again to finalize the building so they can start shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, they hope the weather will cooperate so they can stick to the schedule.

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