Firm hired for sheriff’s office touts experience designing similar projects

WOODSTOCK – The firm hired to design a new Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office complex touted its project portfolio to supervisors on Tuesday.

Representatives of Grimm and Parker Architects gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors that highlighted the company’s experience designing similar projects. The board heard from President Melanie Hennigan; Jim Boyd, principal in charge, and project manager Patricia Jessee.

“We believe in a collaborative process,” Hennigan said. “We believe in working with our clients and their communities and all of their stakeholders.”

The McLean firm has designed more than 25 public safety facilities and worked with more than a dozen municipal governments, school systems and other government agencies.

“We truly take to heart what it means to work with people who are in the first-responder community, how important their jobs are,” Hennigan said. “We want to honor them and what they give back to our communities so we take the notion of working with them and developing their programs very seriously.”

Approximately 90 percent of Grimm and Parker’s clients have hired the firm for more than one project, Hennigan said. The company designed a 27,000-square-foot facility for the police department in Bowie, Maryland. The agency has 75 employees, similar in size to the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, Hennigan noted. The sheriff’s office is spread out in four locations, including the basement under the circuit court building.

Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass explained the process used to reach this point. Sheriff Timothy C. Carter noted that the firm plans to help find an appropriate site for the facility through analysis, engineering and evaluation. The firm will also determine if the project should be new construction or involve renovation and/or expansion of an existing structure, Carter said. The company then will develop a conceptual design along with a cost to build such a project. The firm will help design a rendering of the facility that the county could then use to gather community support for the project, Carter said.

A panel of supervisors, county officials and representatives of the sheriff’s office selected Grimm and Parker from a pool of firms that submitted proposals. The county plans to pay the firm up to $72,000 to start designing the new headquarters for the sheriff’s office. The process, split up into phases, could take about four months.

After the meeting, Supervisor Cindy Bailey expressed support for the initiative.

“I’m excited we’ve gotten to this point and I look forward to hearing and seeing what their thoughts are in terms of do we renovate different buildings or do we build a new one,” Bailey said. “It’s a long time coming.”

Bailey lauded the work by the selection panel, noting they performed due diligence by visiting facilities designed by the firms.

“The whole way this was done I was impressed,” Bailey said. “Sheriff Carter certainly had a voice this time in this, much different than the (regional) jail. Sheriff Carter and the staff that works with him – it sounds like they’re going to have a voice as well in terms of building the facility and that’s so important.”

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com