As of this Monday the old Town Hall building in Torrevieja is being vacated by council employees following warnings given by the Health and Safety Committee.
The move has been recommended following the discovery of various defects in the building, and it is now empty except for the ground floor, where the council’s Trade, Hostelries and Citizen Participation departments are located alongside the Afic Trade Network and the office which manages the card system for citizens allowed to use urban public transport.
The building became home to the Town Hall in 1987 and was partially renovated in the late 1990s, when it was home to the department of Urbanismo, but it is deteriorating with age and has now been deemed unusable. As a result all the services and departments which have been evacuated are for the moment being relocated to the AMICS office on Calle Caballero de Rodas, opposite the newer main Town Hall building.
Councillor Francisco Moreno explains that the council’s aim is first and foremost to ensure the safety of its employees and of those who visit council offices for whatever reason, and as a result the intention is to complete the evacuation as soon as possible, potentially within just a few days. Following this the building will remain closed until further notice. Councillor Agustina Esteve, meanwhile, confirmed that the measure was “preventative”, and that seven employees would be changing location as a result.
The council has already begun work on an extension plan for the newer town hall, the aim being to consolidate more departments under one roof.
The next step will be to study what steps need to be taken for the defects found in the old building to be corrected, and at the same time there are concerns that another building in the municipality could also be in danger of being forced to close. This is the old residence of the Carmelitas nuns, which they left in 1999. Since then the building has been used for a variety of purposes, such as a polling station at elections, markets, the consumer information office and other municipal departments. The rear of the building has already been renovated and now houses the IT and Communications Centre (CITIC), but now this service is also at risk of being re-located in the near future.
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