How long have the temporary structures outside Medford City Hall been there? It seems like a long time. What department do they house? Are there any plans to remove them, or have they become a permanent feature?

How long have the temporary structures outside Medford City Hall been there? It seems like a long time. What department do they house? Are there any plans to remove them, or have they become a permanent feature?

— Linda B., Medford

Linda, your question is very timely, as the Medford Engineering Department celebrated its 10-year anniversary as inhabitants of the "temporary" trailers in February.

There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel — the department is scheduled to vacate the 1,700-square-foot trailers, lovingly known as the "engineering modulars," the first weekend of April.

The engineers will move to the Lausmann Annex, where they will share a floor with the building and planning departments, making it more convenient for employees and the public alike. The front counter will be moved into the Annex by March 30 and be available to the public during the transition.

In 2001, the engineering department drew the short straw, you might say, and was asked to move out of City Hall in order to accommodate remodeling and shifting departments. Originally intended to be a year, the occupancy stretched into 10 years as the city juggled spaces and shuffled departments between the City Hall, the Annex, the Carnegie Library building and Santo Community Center.

"The consolidation of the 9-1-1 dispatch to near the airport freed up space for fire (department) to move down into the dispatch space and allowed for the reconfiguration of the upstairs space," said Lorraine Peterson, Public Works business manager.

"And to anticipate the next Since You Asked, yes, the trailers will be removed from the parking lot," said Peterson.

Although a date has not been set, the trailers are expected to be removed promptly, or so they say.

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