Chief offers update on construction of new police station

Kahle Magalis

FRONT ROYAL – The Front Royal Police Department expects to celebrate the new year in a new station.

Chief of Police Kahle Magalis updated the Town Council on Monday on the construction of the department’s $11 million station.

The project will be financed through the New Market Tax Credit Program, which gives private investors tax breaks at the end of seven years, at which time the town will refinance. According to previous reports, B.J. Wilson, town finance director, has explained there is no way of knowing whether the town would pay off the project over 20 or 40 years.

The new station, located at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Kendrick Lane, will consist of a 15,000-square-foot main office and a 7,000-square-foot side building.

The public entrance will face Monroe Avenue, which Magalis said is “where folks can come in and make complaints on site.”

He said the main building will house the administrative offices and the patrol, communications and criminal investigations divisions. The building will also have a community meeting room for training or public use.

The support building will house the evidence processing and storage area, K9 kennels and the emergency services storage area. It will also have garage bays to process vehicles that were used during crimes. Magalis said this would prevent evidence such as fibers or hair from being lost. It will also protect evidence from being washed off by rain or snow. 

Magalis said construction is about 60 percent complete, the framing is complete “and things are moving along.” He said both structures “are completely under roof” and exterior sheeting is being applied. He said electric, plumbing and HVAC work are also nearing completion.

Over the next several weeks, he said interior sheetrock would be installed. Exterior red brick is also being installed, and work has begun on a security fence.

Magalis said that Dustin Construction began site work in November 2017, hoping to finish one year later. He said the new “substantial completion date” is Dec. 31 with a final completion date of Jan. 31.

He said the delay was caused by weather, bad dirt and “the normal things that one loses time in a construction project to.”

Magalis thanked the council for employing a third party clerk of the works inspector. He said that oversight will  provide them with a lot of value that they may not have gotten and “a little more bang for our buck.” He was referring to a representative from JTS Construction Engineering Services who was hired for $173,400 to oversee the project. 

Magalis said the department is “designed to support our operations for hopefully the next 40 years.”