Soon the two currently separate rooms will be joined in one dual purpose space to serve the needs of the city council and municipal court.

MIAMI – The renovation underway at the Miami Civic Center includes a new combined Miami City Council and Miami Municipal Court Room.

Soon the two currently separate rooms will be joined in one dual purpose space to serve the needs of the city council and municipal court.

Miami City Manager Dean Kruithof explained careful discussion and consideration was put into the design of the revision by staff and the project architect John Hill with GH2 Architects.

“What we wanted to do before we really get into this was make sure we're on the right track with you to make sure everybody understands what this design would do,” Kruithof told the council members at the last city council meeting. “There's a lot of benefits to it so I think we're all pretty happy with what we're presenting, but it is different than the way we're seated right now.”

The proposed 38 feet 7 inches by 28 feet 8 inches room with a seven-foot aisle will be located to the left of the front entrance of the Miami City Hall and will have a total seating area width of 28 feet compared to the current location's 24 feet 6 inches. It will seat a total 48 up to 60 including council and staff with a larger nine-seat dais facing north.

Plans include two TV monitors, one facing council and the other the gallery seating, with one public entry and two secured doors for staff and court employees. The new room will be ADH compliant and accessible with ramps and wider aisles. A podium will be set up for presenters for city council.

An elevated judge's seat, witness stand, and court clerk's seat are included in the plans.

“We did talk to our Municipal Judge Chuck Chesnut and Court Administrator Carrie Taylor, and they both are very happy with the design,” Miami's Administrative Services Director Jill Fitzgibbon said.

During the remodel the council and court will meet in the southwest corner of the dining area of the Banquet Room at the Miami Civic Center.

“The 20th will be the last meeting in this room for the Council,” Fitzgibbon said.

Bids will be open for the project within the next month, and then plans can be made accordingly for process of the project, Kruithof said.

The new set up will be more secure for all using the facility.

“We are moving all the public interaction to the front of the building adding greater security for the public and staff's security. It will be a lot safer,” Fitzgibbon said.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at mstotts@miaminewsrecord.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.