The $23-million, 51,000 square-foot Sheriff’s Operations Center about to rise within sight of the Government Services Building in Bunnell will grow by another 6,000 square feet.
The Flagler County Commission on Monday approved spending another $1.27 million to add a stand-alone, 6,000-square-foot building for the sheriff’s storage needs, next to the Operations Center simultaneously with current construction. The main building is expected to be completed by next fall. The addition should be done by January 2023.
The pre-engineered metal building will include 4,000 square feet of warehouse space with six overhead doors enabling vehicles to drive through the building, and 2,000 square feet of office space space, with restrooms. The building will also house the sheriff’s purchasing department.
Ajax Construction Co., the contractor on the project, will engineer and build the storage structure. The building itself, based on schematics presented to the commission, will not be particularly attractive–nothing more than a standard warehouse building and having more in common with a hangar than an office building. (See it in the embedded document below the article.)
The additional building was in the long-range plans for the site all along and was included in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan. But it wasn’t planned for immediate construction. That changed when County Administrator Heidi Petito thought it more pragmatic and cost-effective to build now.
“This suggestion was brought to me by your county administrator, and it was already in the CIP,” Sheriff Rick Staly told commissioners Monday. “It is very smart because of the economy of scale, Ajax are already there and has everything started. And quite frankly we don’t want to finish one building and have deputies working out of it, then start another building and work around construction equipment and so forth. So I think it was a great suggestion by your county administrator and I appreciate her bringing that forward because it was already in your five year CIP plan.”
The sheriff is also currently renting a hangar at the county airport, “a premium location of premium size” Staly said the airport director could put to profitable use the moment the sheriff vacates it.
“It is much easier to do it this way because this building was a consideration in the original RFP. If this project was closed down and Ajax was gone and off the [site] we’d have to issue a whole new bid process for this we can take a lot of time,” Holly Durrance, the county’s purchasing director, said.
The main building is an $18.9 million project. With the cost of financing, the price to taxpayers rises to $23 million, and with the addition, it brings it closer to $25 million, though the addition is now priced at some $250,000 less than when first originally proposed, when it was listed as a $1.5 million project. The additional money will be drawn from the county’s half-cent sales surtax.
“It was a conceptual estimate done on some conceptual designs,” Lon Newman, the construction manager with Ajax, said, explaining the favorable discrepancy.