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Tewalt urges defined costs on FRPD construction design

21 April 2016 News


FRONT ROYAL, Va. – An internal debate that began in mid-February about exactly what kind of Police Station the Front Royal Town Council told Moseley Architects to design and how much it will cost to build, continued at a Monday (April 18) Work Session.

“We need to come up with a firm number – $5-million, $6-million, $7-million – and say ‘Design to this number.’ If you give an architect carte blanche, you’re not going to pay $8-million, you’ll end up paying $10-million,” Gene Tewalt told his colleagues.

During its initial debate, a Council majority sided with Jacob Meza and Mayor Tim Darr’s contention that Council was NOT authorizing a construction cost – ONLY the more expensive option designed to accommodate projected departmental needs 25 years out.

However, with an $8-million dollar price tag tied to that option – $4-million above initial estimates and $2-million above Moseley’s current alternative – it is exactly that vagary that has raised alarm bells with Tewalt.

Council and its architect have developed a two-building option that could allow the construction project to be divided into two phases. The main building is currently designed at 14,600 square feet; the second structure at 7,000 s.f. for a total of 21,600 s.f. upon completion of the entire project. Both proposed buildings located off Kendrick Lane across from the Royal Phoenix site are one-story structures.

During the April 18th discussion, Bébhinn Egger supported Tewalt’s assessment. Egger, who opposed the FRPD headquarters construction project from the start, joined Tewalt in casting dissenting February 22nd votes against the more expensive design option presented by the architects a week earlier.

Egger expressed a preference to continue the $3,000 dollar a month rental arrangement with Warren County for FRPD to occupy the old Sheriff’s Office on Jackson Street behind the Courthouse. Square footage in that current rental headquarters is 7,236 s.f.

The old FRPD headquarters building on West Main Street, a former Post Office, is listed at 4,032 s.f. Space constraints and mold between floors and ceilings forced FRPD out of that location in September 2013.

Submitted by Roger Bianchini

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