As COVID-19 restrictions loosen in Michigan, the City of Royal Oak is working on plans to open its new City Hall to the public while continuing to offer services remotely at its present facility.
Construction of the new City Hall facility is winding down. More than 120 parking spaces adjacent to the building were striped this week and flooring is being laid into place awaiting the arrival of new furniture. The building is scheduled to open in mid-August.
“We plan to continue to offer services remotely at our present building, while we focus on providing a welcoming and safe customer experience at our new facility,” said City Manager Paul J. Brake. “We are looking forward to greeting the public in-person, but we want to do it in a way that is thoughtful and careful.”
The layout of the new City Hall has advantages over the current building. All high-use departments are on the first floor, which limits movement throughout the building and is safer for visitors and staff. Clear acrylic barriers are being installed at all counters and a large lobby space in the new facility will allow the city to have a check-in point to safely stage visitors in a manner consistent with social distancing guidelines.
“In an effort to ensure staff availability and reduce wait times, we are recommending visitors schedule an appointment at the new City Hall,” Brake said. “We plan to roll out software near the end of July that will allow visitors to schedule their own appointments, similar to the experience of visiting a Michigan Secretary of State office.”
A customer experience hotline will also help with scheduling appointments and other questions or concerns visitors may have regarding new health procedures or the building itself.
Once all the details of the opening plan are finalized, they will be made available to the public.
Additionally, the city is working on the plan for its approximately 90 employees to move to 230 E Troy Street – the address of the new City Hall. The present City Hall will need to close for roughly one week in early August while computer equipment, phones and servers are moved to the new building. During this time, no City Hall services will be offered.
“While we anxiously await reopening to the public, we encourage our residents to visit our website at www.romi.gov or call us at 248-246-3200,” Brake said. “Many services you once could only do inside City Hall can now be done from the comfort of your own home.”