ST. JOSEPH -- The St. Joseph City Council will begin the bidding process to build a new city government center extension on the future community center site (currently Colts Academy).

Back in September, the City of St. Joseph closed on the Colts Academy Property with the purpose of converting it to a community center after District 742 leaves in the summer of 2017.

For years, the City has discussed the need for a new government center that would provide adequate room for city offices and the police department. Mayor Rick Schultz says it's time to solve this problem.

"If you look upstairs, you realize [this building] isn't built for police protection at all," Schultz says. "They retrofit space for police versus having it specifically for police."

Schultz says the plan is to build a government center as an extension to the future community center, with administration on one side of the building and police department on the other.

"The biggest thing is the police and safety features of this new city hall would be taken care of for another 20 years," Schultz says. "Garage space, administrative space, lockdown space -- the things that are really in dire need of the [current] facility."

Schultz says the next step is to accept bids when they come in around February or early March, award contracts and get started on building. The City's contract with District 742 allows them to start building on the outside of the Colts Academy site before the district vacates.

Schultz says the hope is to start building this spring and once the new building is completed, sell the current site of the city hall to an unnamed potential buyer.