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story.lead_photo.caption City of Springdale City Hall Administration building entrance. NWA Democrat-Gazette/FILE PHOTO

SPRINGDALE -- City departments are leaving the downtown administration building to make way for construction of a municipal campus at the same location.

The Planning Department staff will move the second week of January into temporary quarters at 206 W. Meadow Ave., according to Patsy Christie, head of the department. The city clerk's staff moved into the building last month.

The mayor's office staff and Human Resources Department will move in the spring to a building at 128 Spring St. when construction of Phase 1 of the city's new municipal campus is completed, according to Mayor Doug Sprouse.

The north part of the campus can be seen under construction along West Huntsville Avenue.

Springdale voters in 2018 approved $40.8 million for construction of the new city offices in a $200 million bond project. Phase 1 of construction will include space for the Police Department, district judge's offices and courtroom and the office of the city attorney. Current city hall will be demolished to make room for Phase 2 and the other city offices when Phase 1 is done.

Christie said her office will be closed only as long as it takes the city's Information and Technology Department staff to move the phones and computers. She said developers must meet several deadlines each month to submit reports, drawings and other documents for review by the staff and approval by the Planning Commission before they can begin work on their projects.

The city planned to keep the clerk's office closed for several days, but the move by the city's maintenance and technology staff went smoothly. The office opened after one day, said City Clerk Denise Pearce.

Yet Pearce was on the phone Monday afternoon with the mayor's office, trying to find mail gone astray.

"It will be easier when we're all back in the same office," she said. The city expects the new campus to be finished in 2022.

The clerk's staff and planning staff -- about 16 people total -- both work with business licenses, construction plats, zoning approvals and more, so their pairing makes sense.

The Planning Department, the Building Department and the Engineering Department will be adjacent on the ground floor of the new municipal campus to ease the process for residents, Sprouse said.

"So the residents won't have to run all over downtown to get something done," he said.

The Building Department staff currently works just south of city hall at 107 Spring St. The city bought the former Springdale office 0f Southwest Electrical Power Co. for $1 in 1992, according to online records of the Washington County assessor.

A conference room at 206 S. Meadow Ave. was lined Monday with filing cabinets and boxes holding more files. The city clerk is the official custodian of records for Springdale.

"We got all the ordinances in those files," Pearce said, referring to measures passed by the City Council.

"Those are all our 2018 bond files -- cash receipts and accounts payable," she said. "We still have boxes that need to come over from the old building, but we don't have the files set up yet."

The Clerk's Office and the Planning Department staff scanned many items for electronic storage before the move, but Christie said her department must keep hard copies of plat maps and other drawings.

"We have most of the plats in Springdale, the roads, the ballpark, the public buildings," she said.

And Christie said she will take home most of the fun Northwest Arkansas Naturals paraphernalia currently lining the walls of her office.

Laurinda Joenks can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NWALaurinda.

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