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Erik Burgess, Published August 21 2013

Fargo City Hall committee could narrow list of potential sites

FARGO – A 13-person committee tasked with picking the site for a proposed City Hall could shorten the list of candidates this morning.

A month ago, the committee, which is chaired by Mayor Dennis Walaker and former Mayor Bruce Furness, listed about 16 sites that should be considered. Thirteen of those sites were either in or near downtown, which is considered to be roughly the area between the Red River and University Drive, and from First Avenue South to Sixth Avenue North.

The committee meets at 8 a.m. in the City Commission chambers at City Hall. The site list includes:

- Renovating the current downtown City Hall location.

- U.S. Bank Plaza, downtown.

- Mid America Steel building, 92 NP Ave.

- Professional Building, 100 block of Fourth Street South.

- Former Pierce Co. building and old Taco Bell, 1000 block of First Avenue North.

- Former Union Storage building, 1026 NP Ave.

- Nestor Tavern block, 1001 NP Ave.

- Former Carnegie Library site, corner of Second Avenue and Roberts Street.

- Island Park at the base of Broadway.

- Former Woodrow Wilson High School, 315 N. University Drive.

- Former Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, corner of Fourth Avenue and Second Street North.

- Former Fargo Rubber Stamp building/Romantix adult bookstore, 400 block of NP Avenue.

- Border States Electric/Lighthouse, 100 block of 25th Street North.

- YMCA, 400 1st Ave. S.

- Kmart, 2301 S. University Drive.

- Sunmart Foods, Seventh Street and North University Drive.

The group has set a deadline of Oct. 3 to pick the site and present it to the public. City leaders want construction of the 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot building to be bid out by late fall 2014. The budget is about $8 million to $12 million, which will likely include some state aid.

The committee is using social media to reach out to the larger public for ideas. Find it on Facebook by searching “Fargo City Hall Project.” On Twitter, use the hashtag #FargoCityHall.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518