MIAMI – From the outside Miami's City Hall looks much the same, but from the inside, the building is now unrecognizable. The renovation work budgeted up to $2.4 million is well underway with an expected completion date of February 28, 2018.

Funding for the project comes from the City of Miami's Rainy Day Fund as approved by the Miami City Council in six annual payments of $166,610, which started this fiscal year.

The project includes re-roofing remaining portions of the Miami Civic Center and Gym, upgrading electrical and HVAC systems, construction of a more open floor concept by department, and improving overall security.

As part of the project, the city council room and municipal courtrooms will be consolidated into one dual-use space. Staff and administration offices will be relocated downstairs behind security entrance doors, leaving utility offices in place but more easily accessible to the public through customer service windows.

Some staff offices for departments that have less direct public interaction such as the Facilities department will be moved upstairs.

Crossland Construction was hired to serve as Construction Manager At Risk for 6 percent of the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of the project to rehabilitate the existing building's interior to serve current needs and provide an improved, more usable work environment and office spaces for city staff.

GH2 Architects was also contracted for the project with compensation of 6.9 percent of the GMP, or $134,851.

The total cost of the renovation on July 18 was projected to be $2,089,219.

$293,781 is also allocated within the $2.4 million project budget for exterior paint and improvements at the Coleman Theatre, which is already underway.

At their last council meeting, Crossland's CMAR Manager Jeramy Keller and CMAR Project Superintendent Matt Gath provided an update of the project's progress and costs and gave the council a tour of the construction areas of the building.

Keller reported around 60 percent of the construction has been completed, and went over the architect's supplemental instructions.

Framed and sheetrocked walls with outlets and steel supports were added to the design of an open office area to block a hallway for a cost of $26,777.

“It was a big change, but it was a change for the better to open up this room,” Keller said.

A talk-though window, column, new dais, wood trim and raised ceiling have been added to the council/courtroom area at a cost of $9,363.

A $4,962 conduit raceway was added to the council/courtroom to allow for lights in the sound booth, added TV power, and electrical engineering.

An added steel support structure costing $7,850 was included for the Dedicated Outdoor Air System for additional support at the roofline.

$2,282 will be spent to add hardware to the main entry doors and banquet rooms for easier access and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

With an $85,643 owner contingency, after these expenses totaling $51,234, a contingency of $34,409 remains.

Additional changes are expected of about $10,00 to change the windows in the stairwell to allow for a roof warranty and $5,000 for a transformer booster for the building's elevator.

“We're pricing these now to firm those numbers up,” Keller said.

Any further contingency expenses beyond the of $34,409 remaining will come before the council for approval, according to Miami’s Administrative Services Director Jill Fitzgibbon.

For now, many city staff has been temporarily moved to office in the Civic Center's Banquet Room, where municipal court and council meetings are held as well.

The Banquet Room will revert back to the original use intended and a caterer's kitchen will replace the outdated kitchen in the completed facility.

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