By Jane Smith
Boynton Beach residents and others using city services will have to be patient for the next two years while the city builds out its Town Square complex.
Civic buildings, including the City Hall, Public Library and Fire Station 1, will be demolished and staff will work out of different locations around town.
The library is closed and will reopen 9 a.m. Aug. 13 in a shared space with the Congregational United Church of Christ at 115 N. Federal Highway. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the church building that originally was a bank and a nearby parking lot in the spring.
The city recently agreed to hire Jade Communications of Boca Raton for $25,878 to upgrade the Wi-Fi capabilities at the temporary library site.
“People will have to be patient and pay attention where they are going,” said Colin Groff, assistant city manager in charge of Town Square. “We will put out notices wherever we can — social media, in utility bills, signs at the site.”
The city held a plant giveaway at its already closed Civic Center on July 19. The cuttings came from plants around the City Hall, Civic Center and the library.
About 150 people came to the plant giveaway, said Eleanor Krusell, city spokeswoman.
The remaining plants around city buildings will be replanted elsewhere around Boynton Beach — medians and parks, Krusell said. With its private development partner E2L Real Estate Solutions, Boynton Beach hopes to create a new downtown in the 16-acre area, bordered by Boynton Beach Boulevard on the north, Northeast and Southeast First Streets on the east, Southeast Second Avenue on the south and Seacrest Boulevard on the west.
Private development will include apartments, restaurants and a hotel in the $250 million project. The city’s share is about $118 million.
The historic high school renovations will be complete in March, Groff said. But it won’t be able to hold city recreation programs until the City Center complex is finished in early 2020, he said.
“There won’t be more than 40 parking spaces available until the new garage, part of the City Center complex, is ready,” Groff said. People can still rent out the second floor for banquets and weddings, he said, but they must provide offsite parking.
City Hall move: September
City Hall staff will move over two weeks in mid-September to Quantum Park, Groff said. City Hall will reopen Sept. 24 at 3301 Quantum Blvd.
The City Commission, CRA meetings and other city advisory board meetings will be held at the City Hall Commission Chambers during August. In September, they will move to the Intracoastal Park Clubhouse at 2240 N. Federal Highway.
Fire Station 1, which also serves Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes, will divide its staff and vehicles between Fire Station 4 on South Federal Highway and Fire Station 5 on High Ridge Road.
“We will be the last to leave,” said Fire Chief Glenn Joseph. The departure time will be in mid-September. One lieutenant and two firefighter/paramedics with a rescue vehicle will work out of the South Federal Highway station, he said.
About 70 percent of the emergency calls are medical, Joseph said. The fire truck and three staff members (lieutenant and two firefighter paramedics) will work out of Fire Station 5.
Joseph expects the response times to increase by 30 seconds. His team will monitor them and if they rise over 1 minute, the team will look for space east of Interstate 95. Joseph knows it won’t be easy to find a building big enough to house the fire truck.