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Sugar Hill to debut new City Hall

SUGAR HILL -- Don't begrudge Sugar Hill for the first rule in its new City Hall debuting Sunday.

No refreshments outside the community room.

In fact, food and drink won't ever be allowed in common spaces other than the break room in the basement. So several hundred residents and invitees expected for Sunday's 1 p.m. grand opening best wipe their feet and not spill.

"If people are happy with the outside, they'll be happier with the inside," Mayor Gary Pirkle said of the $11 million, 33,000-square-foot building at West Broad Street and Temple Drive downtown, adjacent to a $6 million parking deck, amphitheater and amenity pond. It sits amid a half-mile streetscape down West Broad between Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Ga. Highway 20.

"It's the start of the future for downtown," Pirkle said. "It's an iconic building, something we hope will be eye-catching and pleasing to everyone."

Community Relations Director Don Kelemen said the two-story hall atop a basement, topped by a clock tower and visible from far away, is a jewel.

"It's absolutely gorgeous," he said, "really high-end looking."

As the council held its monthly work session Monday night in existing chambers adjacent to the old, small City Hall a few hundred yards down West Broad at Level Creek, movers were mostly done. Though sealant was still being applied to marble floors and punch-out items remain, the new City Hall is scheduled to be fully operational by 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The first monthly City Council meeting in the new building's 160-seat council chamber is 7:30 p.m. Monday. Beforehand, a parade of residents and invitees, including Gwinnett County commissioners, city employees and former representatives, are expected to attend Sunday's ceremony that includes tours, a ribbon cutting and a city flag raising.

"All in all, it's a tremendous building," City Manager Bob Hail said. "There's nobody who's been in there yet who hasn't thought it's one of the best things they've seen."s