As many of you are now realizing, the new La Habra City Hall is open and operational. And if you haven’t seen it, you should definitely have a look.
There was much concern and discussion when the plan to invest in a new city hall was initiated. However, it was time. La Habra had one of the oldest city halls and civic centers in the region. Buena Park, Fullerton, Anaheim and La Habra Heights had created new city halls over the last eight years. It was time for La Habra to upgrade.
Like when La Habra Heights remodeled its city hall, some residents in La Habra were concerned if investing in a remodel and relocation was money well spent. In my opinion I can say it was.
La Habra’s new civic center is something that residents can be proud of. The location of the finance department, where you pay your water bill and the planning department, where you can pull permits, has easy access and looks to be an expedited process.
The walls upstairs, where the engineering department is located, are adorned with historic photos of La Habra. As the city nears its centennial, this is a nice touch.
The stone on the interior, along with the wood beams and vaulted ceilings make the civic center more inviting than it had been in its older location. It just needs a large fireplace, hot chocolate and I’ll feel like I’ll want to hang out there before I hit the slopes.
The council chambers are modern but intimate. Residents sit closer to council members and thus council members are sitting closer to their constitutes. To me this makes for a greater possibility for a better connection between elected officials and the people they represent.
The fact that there are already plans to hold events inside the civic center shows that it will be used as a public building and not just for city government alone.
An interesting tidbit that I was reminded of as I walked around the outside of the council chambers. The location is adjacent to the monument with the bell that symbolizes the “birthplace of La Habra.” The civic center has moved full circle and is now located on the location where the city was founded.
I looked around the facility and pictured a variety of civic events and how this new center could fit in them. The annual Christmas Tree lighting has the potential to be great. The Citrus Fair is rumored to be using the location to house the student STEM program. The Tamale Festival will be right along the side of the building and can provide resources. The patio outside will be great for city awards and recognition like local high school athletic titles and other large group events.
I admit, I was one of those who had reservations about the new city hall. I agreed they needed to upgrade, but was concerned how it would turn out. I can enthusiastically say that from what I have seen, it is indeed money well spent and something that will provide much for the community for years to come.