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Kannapolis in nationwide battle for best city hall

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — First, it was Philadelphia.

Portland, Oregon, is next.

Kannapolis’ City Hall is part of a nationwide competition to pick the best city hall in the nation. Last week, Kannapolis beat Philadelphia. This week, Kannapolis is in a close battle with the city hall in Portland.

The competition, called “City Hall Madness,” is organized by a group called Engaging Local Government Leaders. As its name implies, the competition functions like a March Madness college basketball bracket. It started with 64 cities. Today, the round of 32 ends.

On Thursday afternoon, Kannapolis led Portland by just 26 votes. Cities win by accumulating more votes than the opposing city.

If it wins this round, Kannapolis will advance to the Sweet 16, facing either Kansas City, Missouri, or Peoria, Illnois.

What happens if Kannapolis wins the whole tournament? City spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said she’s not sure, but it’s fun anyway.

Kannapolis City Hall opened in early 2016. The three-story, Georgian architectural style building has more than 100,000 square feet of space. It includes the Laureate Center, an events space that can accommodate 260 people for a banquet-style gathering or 450 people for classroom-style meetings, Keller said.

The building sits on land that once was the site of Cannon Mills.

More fun facts: the building contains 8,900 tons of concrete, 987 tons of structural steel, 320,500 bricks, 240 windows, and 10,450 tons of imported soil and stone.

Including furniture, street lighting, landscaping and other features, the total price tag for Kannapolis City Hall was $32 million.

The building houses the following departments: police, planning, community development, economic development, customer service, finance, administration, human resources, technology, fire administration, legal, general services, communications, and parks and recreation.

To vote for Kannapolis in the city hall competition, visit: http://elgl.org/2017/02/05/round-of-32-elgl-city-hall-madness/ and click on “vote now” at the bottom of the page.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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