Kingston ready to go to work on medical plaza

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By Mike Gibson

Kingston officials are tantalizingly close to getting renovations on the new city hall building into full swing now, with old tenants on the verge of departure.
City Manager Jim Pinkerton said recently that the retrofitting of Kingston Medical Plaza — the planned site of the new city hall — should be “going strong in March.”
The building’s remaining tenants, the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center and a physician, are scheduled to leave the building by Feb. 22.
At that point, Pinkerton said, a structural contractor will come on to beef up floors and columns, followed by HVAC installers and  plumbing contractors to provide for additional needs in the new facility.
Also on the list of alterations will be raising the upstairs ceiling.
The second floor will now hold the council meeting chamber, and that large room—currently in an unfinished state — will need higher ceilings to safely and comfortably accommodate large gatherings.
Pinkerton said the engineering for the project is mostly complete. In preparation for the ongoing needs of the renovation, city council voted earlier this month in a special-called meeting to increase the city manager’s discretionary spending limit to $25,000 for expenditures related to the city hall. For other expenditures, his limit will remain at $15,000, already set by ordinance.
That move will enable Pinkerton to make some of the larger purchases necessary for the project without calling a council session each time for approval.
Pinkerton said the city’s goal is for the new hall to be ready for occupancy by late summer.