It was old meets new Thursday as history walked side-by-side with progress at the Dedication and Ribbon Cutting of the new Loganville City Hall. Former city manager Bill Jones was on hand, along with new City Manager Danny Roberts, as the old Loganville Elementary School at 4303 Lawrenceville Road officially became the new Loganville City Hall. Loganville Mayor Dan Curry did the honors, cutting the ribbon and making it official.
“I would hate for a building of this magnitude to end up in a landfill,” Curry said. “It has been used already for maybe 50 or 60, I guess 60 years now – and there’s probably another 50 or 60 years of use out of it.”
Technically, it has effectively been operating as City Hall since Monday, July 17, 2017, when the doors opened to the public for city services. Residents now pay their utility bills, obtain planning and zoning permits and sign up for water services and facility rentals at the new city hall. Payment windows are set up in the entrance as soon as residents enter the building from the parking lot on Main Street. The police and fire administrative services are in the process of being located in the building and Curry said the courts and other services will eventually be moved there too.
When Loganville Elementary School moved to its new location on Bay Creek Church Road, the City decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get more room for City Hall, which was desperately needed, and at the same time make use of a historic building that may otherwise stand empty. It took out a $1.8 million loan, which included the cost of the property as well as $250,000 for upgrades and renovations to the 45,000 square foot building. Not all the renovations are complete yet and, according to city officials, there are future plans to add more community benefits to the 10-acre campus.
But Thursday, it was more about the historical significance of the building with many former students of Loganville Elementary School getting another opportunity to walk the halls with former teachers and principal John Seigler, who gave his blessings to its new function.
“I am certainly happy to see that the City of Loganville now owns this property,” he said. “They’re my neighbor and I couldn’t be more proud to have as a neighbor the City of Loganville.”
Seigler had not only been the principal of the school at one time, but he too had been a student.
“I had the privilege of being in the first graduating class from the building back in 1959,” Seigler said. “I also was in the group where we picked up our desks from the old 2-story school, which was across in the Baptist Church parking lot, and we walked across the street and brought out desk in the Fall of 58 and had school after we brought our furniture over here for a place to sit.”
After the ceremonies, the community was invited into the building for a tour and former students got to mingle with their old principal and teachers. Leslie Watson, Workman back when she attended Loganville Elementary School, said Siegler had been her principal. Loganville resident and a former city councilwoman, Janice Tribble, said she had taught in the building for 14 years.
“They asked me to come and help out for a year, and I was here for 14,” she said.
Lee Garrett, now a senior executive with Liberty First Bank in Monroe, also was on hand for the dedication. He too had once walked the halls of the old elementary school as a student and was able to catch up with some of his old teachers. Garrett said he was pleased to see the school being put to good use.
Officials said plans for the old city hall have not yet been finalized. More information about Loganville’s new city hall can be found in the City’s latest bulletin.