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City Hall taking shape, to open later this year

DULUTH - The last beams got a little decoration Friday, as officials and residents celebrated construction of Duluth's new City Hall, a vision 20 years in the making.

"This is a long dream come true," Mayor Shirley Lasseter said at the "topping off" ceremony for the City Hall, where people signed the last beams to be put on the structure's frame.

The first talks of a new building began in 1984, but Lasseter said the wait may have been a blessing, since City Hall will now overlook the Town Green, built about five years ago.

"Now we have this beautiful Town Green, and we're going to have an absolutely wonderful City Hall," she said. "When the beams go up, I can visualize. I can see the clock; I can see where everything is going to go. This is going to be the most unbelievable City Hall in all of Georgia with the most wonderful citizens to serve."

Lasseter said she hoped the new building would boost the morale of employees, who have worked in a cramped, granite former church.

"I'm glad to see them have new working space because the one that they are in has not been real serviceable," city resident Helen Jones said, adding that the location is also ideal.

The $13 million structure is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

"This is so exciting to be a part of something that will live on and mean so much to a community," said Dave Heydinger, president of Mathias Corp., the contractor working on the building.