Board hears update on future Sheriff’s Office home

Timothy C. Carter

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County continues to move ahead with plans to build a new home for its Sheriff’s Office.

But consultants and county officials warned Thursday that the cost likely could increase the longer it takes to approve a design for the new headquarters. Representatives with Grimm and Parker and the Sheriff’s Office gave an update on the project to the Board of Supervisors during its work session.

The latest design of the core building calls for the construction of a 23,425-square-foot facility at 818 N. Main St., Woodstock. Preliminary designs would use some of the existing buildings on the property.

The reduced footprint presented earlier in the process showed a core building of 23,405 square feet. Another 8,170 square feet could be added to the building when possible, bringing the total space to 31,575 square feet. The current plan added 20 square feet to the initial core building.

Grimm and Parker presented information about the project in October including the $6.8 million cost estimate. At Thursday’s presentation, Grimm and Parker’s Jim Boyd said the latest design reflects some strategic changes that should save the county money.

Consultants and county officials expect to come back before the board with an update on the design after Labor Day. Sheriff Timothy C. Carter recommended that the board at that time talk more about how the county could fund the project. The sheriff has said he would try to cover the cost of the project with federal asset forfeiture funds.

Grimm and Parker intends to prepare documents for the new building with limited core functions. The county then would use the documents when it advertises the project for bids from interested construction firms.

The question remains: Should the county construct the entire building including additions or just the core facility? The county would spend less in the short term to build just the core facility but more in the long run on the additional space. District 2 Supervisor Steve Baker said the county should build the entire facility now rather than in pieces.

Carter steered the discussion about the headquarters project to the issue of what the county would do with the former jail vacated since the opening of the regional facility in Warren County. The issue also goes hand in hand with how the county handles the security of the circuit court building, Carter said. District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey reminded the board members that they must consider where the Sheriff’s Office would hold prisoners awaiting their time in court. Carter mentioned that the Sheriff’s Office could consider using space in the basement that his agency now occupies.