City officials moved closer to finalizing plans to change recently completed renovations at Augusta Municipal Building during a tense Wednesday meeting.
After Heery International, Gallop and Associates, and Virgo Gambill Architects personnel were absent Monday for a committee discussion of the changes, all were present for the Wednesday called meeting to review, room by room, a handful of modifications to the space designed as a suite for city legal staff.
Augusta Commission members voted earlier this summer to move Clerk of Commission Lena Bonner into the law suite after she said her suggestions for the clerk chambers had been ignored, including the need for a document vault.
Wednesday, the $500,000 vault located in the center of the second-floor suite across from the mayor’s office wasn’t discussed. Instead, the group reviewed modifications for commissioner mailboxes, new drawer space with a countertop and shelving to be used in the new vault.
Heery had provided a $61,000 estimate for the changes Monday but hadn’t produced any supporting documentation.
The meeting, attended by commissioners Wayne Guilfoyle, Ben Hasan, Grady Smith and Marion Williams, and commissioner-elect Sammie Sias, grew tense when Gambill denied having toured the former commissioner mailbox area on the building’s eighth floor. Bonner said she hoped to replicate the area downstairs and that Gambill had seen it several times.
“Mr. Gambill, I refuse to allow you to sit here and insult me,” Bonner said.
Guilfoyle urged Bonner to “tell him what you want.”
Bonner said she had, “but he’s totally ignored it.”
About that time Sias, a heating and air-conditioning contractor, took the lead and went through a diagram of the suite, asking whether Bonner was satisfied.
Asked by Heery program manager Forrest White for her signature of approval at the end of the 90-minute session, Bonner said she was not quite ready.
“It’s such a fluid situation,” she said, offering to do so after examining mobile shelving selected for the space.