The Augusta City Council tried for years to qualify for a grant to renovate and remodel the Frisco Depot in downtown Augusta.
Now that the KDOT grant has been approved, the council has spent months trying to solidify a purpose and design for the building.
As frustrating as the process has been, City Manager Josh Shaw told the council to take its time and make sure they get a design thy like.
“Ultimately you only get one shot at this,” Shaw said. “Everyone needs to be happy with it.”
The council approved a design early this year that included two meeting rooms and two offices as well as a kitchen area and some storage. At the April 7 work session where the council walked through the building for the second time as a group, Councilor Sue Jones brought an alternative set of design plans that gained favor of the governing body.
With the direction of the Council, Architect Bill Morris took Jones’ design and modified it slightly to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and city codes.
Jones took issue with some of the details of the design Morris provided such as where the furnaces were located and what type were being used and how the electrical work on the interior building would be accomplished.
Morris said he was very comfortable with the furnaces chosen for the project and that he didn’t think maintaining them would be an issue.
Jones said she just wanted to make sure before the governing body signed off on the design, that the council was clear on it and approved of it.
“We ask for changes and then we see them at these meetings and I don’t think we understand all of the details,” Jones said. “I would just like to see a couple council members sit down with Bill (Morris) and iron out the details before we vote on it.”
Matt Malone agreed and made a motion to create a subcommittee made up of Jones and Councilor Paul Belt and have them report back to the council with their progress so the project could get approved and go out for bid.
Councilor Ron Reavis said he felt like the council was spinning its wheels on this project.
“I have a hard time seeing two big meetings going on in this building at the same time,” Reavis said. “I don’t have people calling me asking about this project. We need to get it done and move on.”
Mayor Kristey Williams agreed that the project was taking a lot of time, but she believes the citizens will care how the depot looks and works after it is completed and the public uses it.
“I think people will care about it going forward and it is important that we get it done right,” she said.
The subcommittee will meet with Morris this week and hopefully have a final design for the council to approve at an upcoming meeting.
Kent Bush can be reached at