ISHPEMING — By a 5-0 vote, the Ishpeming City Council approved a bid from Gunlach Champion for more than $1.3 million for renovations to city hall, the police and fire department, plus the department of public works.

The project includes a new elevator for city hall and a new heating system for the police and fire department building.

“We have older buildings that have condition issues, specifically over in the police, fire, and public works department building,” said Mark Sloan, Ishpeming’s City Manager. “The heating system is not working properly and is very inefficient, older technology. We needed to take some action to fix some of these problems.”

Gunlach Champion has a long, storied history of construction in the Upper Peninsula. I know that this project has been on the city’s radar for many, many years. We’re just happy to be a part of that. We’re excited to get started,” said James Ebli, President of Gundlach Champion. “There’s a substantial, mechanical, and electrical scope with this project. Over half of the project is electrical and mechanical upgrades.”

The city will finance the repairs and renovations through a 30–year loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For four buildings and doing all that’s going to be done, we’re getting a lot of bang for our buck,” said Sloan. “We’re going to do this work. It’s going to be good for the city, providing much needed upgrades and improvements to provide for safety, health, and efficiency. It’s creating local jobs for a local contractor. It’s a win, win for everybody.”

Once the USDA approves the financing, the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.