Supervisors okay plans for new complex

The Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors approved the commencement of negotiations of a comprehensive agreement with Armada Hoffler regarding the new government complex.

Negotiations are not a guarantee of approval of Armada Hoffler to head up construction of the complex, but this negotiation nod is a result of committee review of potential contractors. The committee comprised members of the Board of Supervisors, county administration, finance and general service, fire, EMS, communications, planning, community development, the Sheriff’s Department, public works, social services and information technology.

“We felt like we had a really good group of people from the county to make this decision,” County Administrator W. Kevin Massengill said. “We’ve supplemented that even further getting the legal counsel of Bill Hefty, who is a partner in the law firm Hefty, Wiley and Gore. We also have retained the services of Donald Booth who is the president of BJG Architectural services out of Williamsburg.”

Dinwiddie County had robust representation throughout the interviewing process and expert guidance to navigate candidate firms. Massengill thanked all of those involved for the many long days and all of the hard work that went into the pre-selection process.

“We started early and we were really deliberate and detailed in our work,” Massengill said. “Nothing really beats leaving the county and going to the specific jobs that they had demonstrated as signature jobs.”

The study was headed on two fronts: municipal and safety. The new facility will house emergency services and county government securely with the capability of being upgraded with the latest and greatest technology as it becomes available.

The agreement could be reached and appear before the Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors by its next meeting in July.

“We really felt like the team demonstrated an abundant experience in expertise in implementing design build projects,” Massengill said. “This is the first design build project in the history of Dinwiddie County.”

Massengill said the borrowed amount is set to cover numerous contingencies in the building process, so the entire borrowed amount should only be spent in a worst case scenario.

“Armada Hoffler has a proven track record of projects like this,” Massengill said. “Not only in having those projects completed on time, but within an established budget which is extremely important.”

The committee recognized Armada Hoffler’s network of consultants as relevant to a project housing health and human services. The facility will integrate all public safety services under one roof.

There are mock designs on the county website, but there is little likelihood that the facility will turn out as projected. The design as it stands is a placeholder or concept that has yet to be paired with actual demands each service requires.

“We’ve got 9-1-1 operators probably sitting in an almost dungeon like setting, probably staring at a wall all day,” Supervisor Daniel Lee said. “In Suffolk, the room looked kind of like Star Trek with everything in it. They could adjust their lights, each operator could control their environment. Hot, cold, whatever they wanted. I’d like to have somebody more comfortable on the other end of the phone in a life threatening situation than someone who is in stressed conditions.”

The negotiations include renovations of the Pamplin Administration Building as well as the current public safety building. The Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors will meet next on July 5 at 4 P.M.

Featured Photo: Ben May/DM
The Pamplin Administration Building.

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