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The West Yellowstone Town Council soaked in presentations on a variety of design concepts Tuesday night as the council listened to pitches from four architectural firms vying for the contract to design a new town hall.

Tuesday's session -- which was a work session with no decisions made -- allowed the four finalists to explain their breadth of experience and why they believe they are the best choice, as well as present a design concept for a new town hall. The firms were responding to the town's RFP that seeks an architectural firm to lead the design of a new town hall and offices, though the town has not finalized the details needed to fully develop a design. That process, including numerous opportunities for the public to participate, will begin after an architect is chosen. 

But on Tuesday, the council members were given an opportunity to meet the representatives from the competing firms and to see their overview of how they envision the process of designing the facility. Architect firms represented included: ThinkOne out of Bozeman; Comma-Q Architecture out of Bozeman; A&E Architects out of Missoula; and Nelson Architecture out of Great Falls. 

All of the firms told the council that their design concepts were simply starting points for the design process, emphasizing that much more collaboration with the council and members of the community was needed to develop the most appropriate design for the project.

Four members of the public attended the presentation, along with five town staff members and the five town council members. 

Each of the firms presented a rendering of a conceptual town hall building, a conceptual floor plan, and a conceptual site plan for a facility to be located on a 262-by-130 feet section of town property on the southeast corner of Geyser and Yellowstone. 

The town previously notified the firms that it anticipated the 8,000 square feet first phase of the project will cost approximately $1.2 million. That phase would include space for the operation's manager office, finance director's office, town clerk's office, a reception area and office space for the deputy town clerk, town council chambers, a records storage room, a conference room, the social services director's office, a reception area and office spare for the social services assistant, storage for the food bank and clothing donations, a courtroom, judge's chambers, a jury room, a reception area and office space for the court clerk, two pre-trial holding cells, and office and storage space for the public services superintendent and deputy superintendent. 

The second phase of the project would accommodate a police, law enforcement and dispatcher addition that would require approximately 3,500 to 5,000 square feet. 

The council will continue discussion of the candidates at a work session starting at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10 in the Povah Center, with the anticipation that is will select a firm at a future regular council meeting not yet identified.

The council is holding a separate work session at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3 to discuss possible site location for a future medical facility that the Yellowstone West Medical Center group wishes to build.

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