The City of Lubbock will soon begin moving equipment, furnishings and employees into Citizens Tower. At this point, major construction activities are nearing completion with key safety milestones anticipated to be met in mid-November. Permanent electrical service is scheduled for the third week of November with final elevator inspections and commissioning the buildings life-safety systems to follow.
With these items completed, initial move-in activities will begin with Information Technology equipment first to occur in late November. Installation of furnishings is scheduled for the third week of December, and then staged relocation of the City departments that will occupy the facility. Employee move-in will occur in stages to minimize customer disruption.
The Tower opened in 1965 as Citizens National Bank. After passing through several owners, the City of Lubbock acquired the facility in 2014 and began activities to render the facility safe for future activities through abatement and related efforts. The renovation project has seen the nearly 188,000 square foot facility taken down to the structural framework and its subsequent remodeling into a modern office facility to serve the citizens of Lubbock.
When fully occupied, the Tower will host more than 450 City employees across 11 floors, a large basement complex and the newly constructed Utility Customer Services Center. Customers will be able to access common City services on Main Street, a first-floor facility that combines development services activities into a one-stop shop for customer convenience. The Utility Customer Services Center operated by City of Lubbock Utilities is adjacent to the Tower. Overall, the project combines City services currently located in four separate buildings into a single complex.
Citizens Tower serves as the anchor of the a three-block municipal development that includes the Tower, Utility Customer Services Center, Plaza, Municipal Court and Police Headquarters. A new, public-use parking structure will provide central parking for visitors at any of these facilities. Construction on the parking structure will begin in early 2020, with the Municipal Court and Police Headquarters to follow.
The Tower project includes new capabilities for the City’s Communications & Marketing efforts, including Channel 2, the City’s public access cable television channel. Present broadcast capabilities are outdated and were installed in the current City Hall in the late 1980’s. Broadcast capabilities at the Tower will be state-of-the-art, and will enhance the City’s abilities to provide quality live broadcasts of official events as well as additional content programming. This portion of the project is cash-funded through fees, required to be remitted by telecommunications providers, that are dedicated to public, educational and governmental programming and are outside the project budget.
The project budget was developed in 2015, and funded in 2016. The budget includes acquisition of the property, abatement, remediation, design & engineering services, construction, parking and project contingency. The project is expected to be completed within the total budget.
The City looks forward to welcoming citizens into the facility with the official opening date to be announced soon.