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Posted: October 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

New Oxford city hall plans presented

Oxford’s city council received a sneak peak at the plans for the new two-story city hall and police station at the Sept. 22 work session.

Architect Ben Carter, of Carter Watkins Associates, presented the schematics to city council members and attending audience members for more than an hour, as council members questioned him about material costs, placement of walls and offices, and the merits of a two-story versus one-story construction.

In the parking lot, which would be surfaced with water permeable "grass paving," or concrete blocks that allow at least 50 percent of the surface to be covered in grass, a drive-through service kiosk would be detached from the main building, but within visual sight of the clerk’s office. The landscape would be irrigated with stored runoff water.

On the first floor, Carter described the city council room, which would seat up to 130 and have a raised dais, drop down screens and flat screens at each councilmember’s seat. The room would also serve as a court room and multi-function community room that could be closed off from the city hall offices during after-hours events. A catering area would allow storage and preparation of food for events.

The design also left space next to the community room for a potential library, should the city decide to pursue it in the future.

The first floor clerk’s office would have a window opening up to the hallway/waiting area, with storage rooms for maps and large documents.

The second floor would contain the police station offices and work spaces, as well as an evidence storage room and night drop box.

The exterior was described as covered with light, rustic brick, tin roofs and anchored with a small "tower" over the main entranceway.

In other business:

The council continued discussion of an application by Victory Tabernacle Church in Conyers to open a commercial coffee house in the old rock store on Emory Street.

A youth director from the church said the idea for the coffee shop came to him as a way to reach and provide a place for Oxford college students, and that proceeds from the shop would be donated to charities, such as orphanages in Moldova and Hands Across Atlanta.

Councilmember Hoyt Oliver said the church reassured the planning commission there would be no preparation of foods, only beverages, and that the only foods sold would be prepackaged foods.

"Frankly, I don’t know that they’re going to succeed anymore than anyone else has in the rock store," Oliver said.

However, Oliver said he would make a motion to approve it at the next city council meeting.

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