Stuart Johnson, Deseret Newsstuart Johnson, Deseret News
Springville City Police Honor Guard presents the colors at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Springville City Civic Center.

SPRINGVILLE — With most in attendance huddled under tents and trees to escape the rain, Springville city officials broke ground for a new city civic center and fire station Friday.

Donning yellow hard hats, Mayor Gene R. Mangum and a group of city leaders and project architects turned over the first shovels full of dirt, marking the beginning of construction on the facilities that will replace the city's outdated and overcrowded fire station and civic building. The price tag for the new building on Main Street is projected at $25.6 million, but city administrator Ben Jolley said past mayors and City Council members made efforts to save up for much of the cost of the construction. Some of those former leaders, as well as mayors from Woodland Hills and Mapleton, were also present.

Mangum made no secret of the shortcomings of the current building, saying that job efficiency at the location is presently difficult if not impossible at times.

"Spending one's career sitting in a furnace room or writing up reports while sitting in a jail cell, didn't really lend to efficiency," he said. "Nor did it lend to employee morale. Neither does water dripping into a wastebasket on your desk or living out your career in a windowless basement without air conditioning in the summer or heat in the winter."

He said the cramped quarters of the current building made confidential conversations difficult and made for some frustrated city employees. He made note of the building's conference room — with comfortable seating for eight. He said that while the police and fire struggled valiantly for the safety of others, they lacked a decent washroom to clean up in after an accident or drug bust.

He related an experience he had earlier in the week when he watched as corrections officers had little option but lead courtroom-bound prisoners past a group of school children gathered for library story time.

The new building is expected to be more than four times larger than the existing 30,000-square-foot space and will include an emergency operations center and bigger facilities to house the city's fire equipment.

Members of the Springville High Philharmonic Orchestra managed to provide a handful of musical numbers to those gathered, in spite of the light, steady rain.

"Once completed," Mangum said, "this will be a building of beauty and lasting function in a beautiful, parklike setting."


E-mail: jdavis@desnews.com