West Hollywood’s new state-of-the-art City Council Chamber continues to be .
The room has been severely since the Council started meeting there in October, shortly after the new West Hollywood Library officially opened.
And at each successive Council meeting, new problems seem to appear. Among the latest:
At the May 7 City Council meeting, the sliding glass door from the lobby into the Chamber came off its tracks, forcing a city employee to manually pull the door open and shut as people exited and entered.
At the conclusion of that same meeting, Mayor Jeff Prang requested the city get some fans behind the council dais because the room was too warm.
At Monday night’s Council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Abbe Land wore sunglasses throughout much of the meeting, explaining that the bright lights shining on the dais were giving her a migraine headache.
But relief may soon be on the horizon. At Monday night’s meeting, Dan Adams of Heery International, who served as the construction manager while the library was being built, discussed plans for retrofitting the room.
New LED lighting will replace most of the existing lighting in the room. Those LED lights will generate less heat in the room.
Adams explained that the room’s dual function as both a council chamber and a performance space was proving problematic.
“When it s a performance room, it needs one kind of lighting,” Adams told the Council. “When it’s on TV [during Council meetings], its needs a different kind of lighting.”
The ceiling over the audience area will be painted a lighter hue and wall sconces will be installed to improve the lighting in the audience seating area.
A vestibule will be created between the council chamber and the lobby to reduce the amount of sound entering the chamber from the lobby.
The lobby, made up of glass walls and stone flooring, has nothing to absorb the sound when people are talking. Thus, the lobby is routinely noisy. When the doors to the chamber are open, the lobby noise pours into the chamber, often making it impossible to hear what the councilmembers are saying.
Adams said materials to reduce the sound reverberation will be installed in the lobby.
Since the chamber is programmed with many events in the coming months, the retrofitting will be done gradually. Whatever construction takes place will be done around the programming. Adams said some materials like the doors to create the vestibule won’t be delivered for some time.
Adams said he expects the retrofitting process to be completed in September.
Councilmember John Heilman acknowledged that any new facility has some initial problems, but pointed out that the architects did hire acoustical and lighting consultants while the building was being constructed.
“Are we going back to them and finding out why they did not address those concerns as the building was being built?” Heilman asked.
Adams replied, “This is going to cost some money to accomplish and one of the things we’re looking at is responsibility.”
Adams did not say how much the retrofitting would cost. The architectural firm of Johnson Favaro, based in Culver City, designed the building.
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