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Wednesday, 20 June 2007 00:00

A great look, but too expensive

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By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Architects last week unveiled plans for a new three-level building that will house the Waynesville Police Department and town planning offices.

Keith T. Carlyon of the Charlotte-based firm ADW Architects presented drawings of the building to town board members after working for months on what he called a “very complex” project.

Board members seemed impressed with the design and the care the architectural firm took in considering the needs of the community.

“When I look at this, I realize how much attention you have paid to this town, and what is going to be appropriate for this town,” said Alderwoman Libba Feichter.

Waynesville Police Chief Bill Hollingsed, whose department has been forced to rent storage warehouses for handling evidence, was extremely pleased with the plan.

“I think the new facilities will give us exactly what we’re looking for,” said Hollingsed.

Hollingsed expressed his satisfaction with the “idea of bringing everybody together — patrol, administration, and investigations — under the same roof.”

Though all appeared pleased with the design itself, the shock in the room was palpable when the price for the project was announced at $4.5 million, roughly a million dollars over what the town had budgeted.

Alderman Gavin Brown had no qualms voicing his surprise at the price.

“We might as well start tonight thinking about how we’re going to scale this back — four and a half million dollars is not going to work,” he bluntly stated. “Right now, needless to say, I have a bad case of sticker shock.”

Town Manager Lee Galloway agreed.

“We might be able to stretch $3.5 million; $4.5 is a little bit on the far edge of the envelope,” said Galloway.

Carlyon explained to the board that the price was higher than expected. He promised to spend the next several weeks trying to cut costs and attempt to provide the town with more options.

Some things Brown speculated could be taken out of the plans are new office furniture. There are no plans at the moment, however, to scale back on the “green” architecture costs. Almost $250,000 was spent on making the building as environmentally friendly as possible.

Construction on the project will begin as soon as the new Waynesville Fire Department is completed, which was originally slated for March 31, 2008, but could be earlier. The town hall and police department is estimated to be finished within a year from that date.

 

The insides

• The main level is characterized by a soaring atrium and will be used by the police department and town functions. Major features include a large briefing room, library, locker rooms and offices for police; as well as a “one stop shop” permitting facility that will house public works, planning, zoning and permitting offices.

• A lower level will be dedicated solely to police functions and includes rooms for evidence collection, storage and disposal as well as offices.

• An upper level consists of a large lobby, community/aldermen meeting room and offices for the Downtown Waynesville Association.

The building will be constructed with a natural stone and brick veneer, which architect Keith Carlyon said his team decided on to blend in and create “something that represents Waynesville.”

 

Building a green structure

• Parking and transportation — An urban location was selected in order to share existing parking. Alternative transportation to the building is also encouraged – bicycle storage and changing rooms are on site.

• Water — Stormwater run-off will be collected and filtered through rain gardens. Low volume, self-flushing fixtures will help save water.

• Energy — The most efficient rooftop available (at a significant cost) will be used to optimize energy performance. A solar hot water heating system with large, south-facing panels will minimize energy costs.

• Materials — Ten percent of all materials used will be made of recycled content. Obtaining materials from places within a 500-mile radius will reduce energy costs, and recycling containers will be on site during construction.

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