Cost estimate for police station rises again

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — Neighbors of the future police station on Kendrick Lane may get to enjoy some peace and quiet once the station is built, but itís likely to cost town taxpayers about $208,000 more than they had anticipated.

Josh Benham of Moseley Associates last week presented Council with its second increased estimate since February, when Council confirmed its choice of a 15,151-square-foot police station, 6,720-square-foot support building and a secure parking area to meet the departmentís anticipated needs for 2040.

Two less-expensive options were offered at the time, but Moseley advised they would end up being more expensive as additions became necessary over time.

The main building is intended to house the police department as well as the 911 call center. The support building would be used for such things as vehicle and evidence storage.

The police department is headquartered in the crowded former Warren County Sheriffís Office at 23 Jackson St., with the chiefís office at Town Hall.

The estimate for the project now stands at nearly $9.3 million, Benham said. It was expected to cost about $4 million in June 2015, when the town hired Moseley to design the complex. When Moseley presented three options in January, the chosen option was estimated to cost about $7.8 million. The July estimate was $9 million.

The estimated cost of construction itself also has increased a second time. It stands at about $7 million, up from $6.8 million in July and about $5.7 million in January.

Councilman Jacob Meza said he was having trouble wrapping his head around the ìconstant creepî of rising estimates.

"Where is this going to land?" he said.

Benham attributed part of the increase in the main building to a larger generator and an enclosure to help reduce noise, he said.

"We did increase the size of the generator and provided a hospital-grade enclosure for that generator, which basically reduces the STC rating of it to around 47 decibels, which is good for a residential area. Workers also will need to lay a little more pipe than expected to connect to water and sewer," he said.

Designers added a compressed air system and increased security in the support building, which also resulted in increases, Benham said, adding that curb and gutter, sidewalks and tree buffers pushed the site-work estimate higher.

"All of this was due to some of our conversations with the Planning Department, which are not concluded yet," he said. "We're going to continue these conversations moving forward."

To cut costs, designers simplified columns, reduced the thickness of the brick facade and made other cosmetic changes, he said.

In July, Moseley noted that there were design and construction contingencies built into the estimate that he said he expected to go away as the project advanced. With the latest estimate, the design contingency decreased from 10 percent to 5 percent. The construction contingency remains at 10 percent.

"We always recommend that you carry that through the end of the project," he said. "If you don't need it, great. If you need it, youíve got it."

Councilman Bret Hrbek asked Benham about any cost increases that might have resulted from building to comply with the town's own ordinances. Benham said he didnít categorize them as such, but said discussions are needed with the Planning Department regarding such things as curb and gutter and the sidewalk. Those two items alone are estimated to cost about $97,000, he said.

That increase illustrates how the townís ordinances can affect the cost of doing business in town, Hrbek said.

In response to Mezaís question, Town Manager Steven Burke said he thinks the potential for major additions has passed.

"They do have a site plan developed that has all of the details, all of the dots connected," he said.

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