The city of Pflugerville is growing at a rapid rate, leaving even city staff to experience growing pains.


City Hall, which sits in the heart of downtown, is nearly 30 years old and has recently fallen into disrepair. A second floor space rendered unusable and restrooms and facilities that are not wheelchair accessible are among issues at 100 E. Main St.


City leaders said the offices are no longer big enough for the 66 city employees that work downtown. To cope with limited space, employees have been spread out among three different buildings around downtown. New employees are squeezed into any available space, including closets or hallways.


“We’ll find the space, but there’s no obvious place to put them,” Communications Director Terri Toledo said.


She said having a centralized space for all departments under one roof would be more efficient for city staff and residents.


“The best collaboration takes place when you get all those involved in the same room and same place,“ Toledo said.


The city is also seeing growing crowds at City Council meetings, leading city staff to place temporary seating outside of the council chambers when meetings are overcrowded.


The council is set on building a new City Hall, which Council Member Jim McDonald said would help give developers and those interested in moving to Pflugerville a better first impression of the city.


“We want to build something that makes people feel confident that when they invest their money here, that they have a partner that’s willing to work with them and make an investment in their community,” he said.


He and Council Member Jeff Marsh are part of a facilities subcommittee tasked with exploring ideas for a new City Hall. The two have toured municipal complexes in Prosper, Frisco and McKinney.


Earlier this month, the council approved purchasing the Comerica Bank building at 100 W. Main Street. McDonald had said the city is purchasing the building for $800,000. The action aligns with a resolution the council passed in May to keep City Hall at a downtown location as it considers building a newer and larger facility.


“The reason we chose downtown is because it has the added benefit of being an economic stimulator for downtown,” McDonald said. “We need to reinvest in downtown and this is a way to do that.”


The council also entered into a lease agreement in April for the Wordyisms building at 103 N. Railroad Ave.


McDonald said city staff could be shifted around the newly purchased buildings if necessary to remove some buildings downtown for a larger City Hall. He said the council could explore creating a pedestrian space, similar to the Prete Main Street Plaza just outside of Round Rock City Hall, which features a performance stage and water features. A multi-level office building is another option, he said.


With expanded space, the council could also consider combining the city courtroom with the new city hall to allow for expansion of the police department, he said.


An exact location, timeline or cost for the new City Hall has not been determined, but McDonald said securing the buildings allows the council to consider different opportunities.


“We try to make sure we have multiple paths that make sense in a people, money and growth standpoint,” he said.


Though the council resolution states the city could spend as much as $50 million on a new City Hall, Mayor Victor Gonzales said that would not happen.


McDonald said one thing is for certain: the need for a new City Hall can no longer be ignored.


“We need a centralized City Hall whereas before we could have done without it,” he said. “We’re at that tipping point now.”