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Coralville City Hall Moves

CORALVILLE, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- An old building got a new home in Coralville on Tuesday.

Crews moved the original city hall building from its previous location on Second Avenue to its new home on Fifth Street, just across the road from the old schoolhouse and museum.

"If they can do that without it falling apart, that's pretty amazing," said Coralville resident John Herrington.

The old city hall was built in the 1880s. Then, it was the town's second church, and it changed hands dozens of times.

"When it was built though, it was prohibited from being a dance hall," said assistant city administrator Ellen Habel.

Some neighbors have been waiting weeks for the move.

"My wife has been picking on me because I've been looking out the window for a month," said Craig Anderson, who lives in an apartment above the shopping center on the corner of First Avenue and Fifth Street, just behind the spot where the building was located.

But Rick Goodwin, owner of Goodwin House Moving, has been preparing for this nearly his entire life.

"I worked with my grandpa, I worked with my dad, so I worked with four of the five generations (who have run the company). So, I kind of have a unique privilege of seeing from horse and caption to steam engine and the modern stuff we have today," Goodwin said.

Goodwin's team uses that "modern stuff" to make way for some modern construction -- Old Town Coralville, the city's newest development -- is moving in and needs the space.

Old Town will feature 40 town homes, 100 condominiums, retail space, and flood protection one year above the 2008 flood levels. It's all part of a city initiative called Re-imagining Fifth, a push to reinvigorate the formerly flooded part of town.

"It's going to look very different in a couple of years," Habel said.

And it was important to city officials, as well as residents, that Coralville's history was preserved while making way for its future.

"How can we hold on to what we have, and the history of Coralville, and yet move forward?" Habel said.

The move on Tuesday took longer than expected, and the old city hall is currently parked just outside of its new home on Fifth Street. Traffic will be open there on Tuesday night, and be closed off again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, to complete the move.
 
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