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Sheriff's renovation cost soars

July 13, 2000

Sheriff's renovation cost soars



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The total estimated cost for additions and renovations to the Washington County Sheriff's Department patrol facility has increased about $600,000 to approximately $1.5 million, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said this week.

Rohrer said he will ask the Washington County Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting if they want to proceed with plans to double the size of the facility despite an estimate more than 60 percent higher.

The proposal would add 6,899 square feet to the 6,250 square feet facility, he said.

If approved, construction should start in spring of 2001, Rohrer said.

The project was previously estimated to cost about $900,000: $700,000 for construction, $120,000 for equipment and furniture and $80,000 for engineering and design, he said.

The new estimated total of $1.5 million includes $1.31 million for construction and renovation, $120,000 for equipment and furniture and $80,000 for engineering, Rohrer said.

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As part of the proposed expansion the 1,640-square-foot Washington County Sheriff's Department administrative offices would be moved to the patrol facility from its present location at the Washington County Detention Center, Rohrer said. That would free up space at the Detention Center for records storage space, he said.

The changes are necessitated to help alleviate overcrowding caused by increases in staff and equipment, Rohrer said.

They are intended to meet the Sheriff's Department's projected needs for the next five to ten years, he said.

Sheriff Charles Mades does not want the project to proceed if it scaled down at all, Rohrer said.

But Commissioner William J. Wivell questioned whether he could support the project at that cost. He believes the project may either have to be delayed or alternative funding sources identified, such as state funds.

The increased cost is partially because the present plan will involve more renovation than was planned earlier, Rohrer said. A possible plan to add a second level to the facility was dropped because it were not feasible, he said.

The budget estimate changes are also the result of architectural plans drawn up by Burrey Moser Gehr Associates LLC of Hagerstown, which did the work as part of a $82,452 contract with the county.

When the County Commissioners discussed the six-year capital improvement program earlier this year, Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger questioned whether there was enough money budgeted for the project.

The program currently includes $151,431 for the project from this budget year, $600,000 for the next budget year with the remainder coming from prior allocations, according to budget documents.

Rohrer is suggesting the county increase the amount coming from next year's budget by $600,000.

According to a report by Rohrer, facility changes would include a 969-square foot open-air sally port providing a more secure way for taking suspects directly into the building without having contact with the general public.

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