Home National Weather Commissioners commit $2.5M toward design of new Carroll County Sheriff’s Office headquarters – Baltimore Sun

Commissioners commit $2.5M toward design of new Carroll County Sheriff’s Office headquarters – Baltimore Sun

by DrewLUD

The design of a new Carroll County Sheriff’s Office headquarters is finally moving forward after the Board of Carroll County Commissioners unanimously approved a $2,562,300 contract Thursday with Manns Woodward Studios, of White Marsh, for architectural and civil engineering design.

The money for design is already allocated in the county’s fiscal 2023 operating budget, after commissioners decided in April to move up the project timeline by two years.

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees advocated for moving the design phase to fiscal 2023 and the completion date to 2026, since the state approved $3 million for the headquarters in its fiscal 2023 budget.

The new headquarters will consolidate sheriff’s office operations, DeWees said in April, including the patrol division currently housed underneath the detention center; the Office of the Sheriff, which is at the historic jail; criminal investigations; property and evidence; crime scene investigators; digital forensic analysts; andcrime analysts, all of which are in the basement of the public library in Hampstead.

DeWees said the building his office currently uses is 185 years old, and the agency has gotten four lifetimes out of it.

“I just want to state that considering our sheriff is headquartered in a building that was built in 1838, this is long, long overdue,” said Republican Commissioner Eric Bouchat.

Bouchat represents District 4, which includes the southwestern portion of Carroll County. He is a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 5 in this week’s primary election.

Manns Woodward Studios was originally hired by the county in fiscal 2016 to find new homes for several county agencies including the State’s Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and Board of Education. The architect reported to commissioners at that time on several scenarios for renovations and relocations of the agencies and told officials that the cost of renovating old buildings could be cost-prohibitive.

Ultimately the chosen location for the Sheriff’s Office headquarters was in Westminster’s Greenwood Avenue complex, off Ralph Street. The new headquarters will be between 42,000 and 52,000 square feet on about 2.5 acres, county staff said. According to concept plans, the estimated cost of the two-story building is $30.4 million.

“We feel that moving forward with Manns Woodward Studios, [which] is under contract and has previous working knowledge of the project and has prepared needs assessments based upon the agencies’ requirements, is in the best interest of the county,” county documents state.

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The county commissioners agreed.

“The fee is already in the budget, and it’s basically approved, we are just awarding the contract,” said Republican Commissioner Dennis Frazier, who represents District 3, which encompasses Westminster City and the surrounding area.

Frazier, now a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 5, made the motion to award the contract.

“We hope this [headquarters] lasts just as long,” Frazier said.

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Source: Baltimore Sun