City Hall has a number of deficiencies, many which are not easily visible to the public when visiting City Hall. Hints to the condition exist in the mold growing on the outside of the facility, as well the windows that have permanent moisture trapped in the windowpanes. The vast majority of City departments are located within Lake Oswego City Hall: Offices of the City Manager, Mayor, and Council, City Attorney’s Office, Redevelopment Agency, Citizen Information Center & Public Affairs, City Recorder, Municipal Courts, City Council Chambers, Planning and Building Department, Engineering, Building Permits, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities Management, Mail and Copy Center, Police, and LOCOM (Emergency 911 Dispatch).
City Hall has multiple and significant problems impacting both use of space and City programs. Studies have determined that replacing the existing building would be the most cost effective approach to addressing the multiple deficiencies identified. Building deficits include: lack of building and operational security, failing exterior cladding system (EIFS) and related water intrusion and mold growth within the exterior wall assembly, insect infestation within the exterior cladding system, failing window system and related flashings, failing mechanical systems and electrical systems at maximum capacity. Additionally, the building does not meet accessibility requirements of the ADA and ADAAG. Currently identified as an ‘Essential Facility’ as required for Police and LOCOM Departments, the building does not meet the related seismic requirements. Various studies on facility air quality have deem the building safe for workers. However, extra caution is taken to not allow any of the mold in the walls to get into the building.
Other sites, such as the West End Building have been reviewed over time as a place to either permanently or temporarily locate City Hall. The location of Police and LOCOM in City Hall make the facility a high priority , and yet replacement will be considered in relationship to other facility issues and available funding.
In 2008, the City commissioned SERA Architects to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of city-owned facilities. Analyzing existing operating conditions, constraints, physical conditions, deficiencies, and risks, the study included possible remediation scenarios and cost forecasting. The report concluded that City Hall has many deficiencies; most significant were those with Police and LOCOM, including substandard design for seismic events and general security, and insufficient space for department functions and operations. These vulnerabilities could potentially jeopardize the police and emergency response during a natural or man-made disaster. A link to the report is available on this page.