By Rachel Logan
For The Diamondback

After nearly seven months of work, College Park City Hall’s construction reached a milestone last Wednesday: the pouring of the first floor’s cement slab. 

It’s hard for College Park residents to miss the construction: The site is currently home to a massive crane, which the concrete subcontractor uses to move the concrete from its truck to the correct locations around the site. 

Bill Campbell, the project manager of the University of Maryland’s real estate office, said columns and foundation walls have already been placed. 

“[The pouring of the first floor concrete] is a nice milestone to take note of,” Campbell said. “I’m glad that somebody is noticing.”

Workers clean up on the construction site for the new city hall before clocking out on Sept. 15, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

The old city hall building was demolished in late February. The new project, which is a joint effort between this university and the city of College Park, is set to include retail space and office space for both the city and university. 

Edward Maginnis, assistant vice president of this university’s real estate office, said the coronavirus pandemic has changed how the general contractor organizes its crew members, but it hasn’t affected the project’s overall progress.

A worker descends the crane on the construction site for the new city hall on Sept. 15, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

[College Park City Council will move forward on city hall project]

The crew is now split into subgroups that try not interact with each other, Maginnis said. The construction management company, James G. Davis Construction Corporation, has also been using a larger outdoor area for their work breaks to allow for better social distancing. 

“Obviously, COVID-19 makes things unpredictable,” Maginnis said. “So far, it hasn’t had an impact on schedule.”

The construction site for the new city hall on Sept. 15, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

The costs of the about $47 million project are also on track, according to Maginnis. 

“We remain on budget as of today, and fingers crossed that keeps true,” he said. 

The covered sidewalk along Route 1 next to the new city hall construction site on Sept. 15, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

When it’s done, the project will be able to house all city services besides public works and youth, family, and senior services, said city manager Scott Somers. Public works will be housed in Davis Hall.

One of the next big milestones for the project will be “topping out,” or pouring the top floor on the four-story building, Campbell said, which is set to happen in December. After that, he said, work on the building’s exterior can begin.

Construction equipment sits in the site for the new city hall along Route 1 on Sept. 15, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)