New Town Hall Project
The Town of Middleburg has identified the need to build a new Town Hall to facilitate efficient operations, to provide more public gathering space, and to better serve the public. This information sheet will describe the history of the project, the need, and the plan moving forward.
The Town of Middleburg Town Office was built in 1964 at its current location on West Marshall Street. It originally housed all of the Town staff, to include the police sergeant. With the growth of Town operations, services, and police activity, the Town has maximized and outgrown each office. In 1991, the Police Department moved to 14 S. Madison (Health Center Building), and in late 2015, they moved to a leased space on West Federal Street. The cost of the current lease is over $47,000 per year.
In the Town Office at this time, there are 7 full-time staff in the Town Office, to include 3 staff in the upstairs that is only accessible via a narrow staircase. The Town Office building has only one public meeting room, which serves as the Council Chambers, conference room, break room for staff, and public gathering space. There are no other public meeting spaces in the building. The Town has also had to conduct mold remediation three times in the past 8 years to resolve moisture and mold issues in the building. Finally, there are accessibility limitations in the current space due to the age of the building and lack of space to add certain accommodations.
In 2017, the Town Council directed staff to conduct a “Space Needs Study” to identify our current office spaces, to develop a program for a standard amount of space needed based on the current staffing, and to look at future space needs based on potential staffing changes (which are minimal). The study would also include additional public gathering spaces to serve the overall needs of the community.
Space Needs Study
The results of the study indicate that the Town needs approximately 11,300 square feet to meet the Town’s current and future needs. The study is available for the public’s review. This amount of space includes at least three public meeting rooms, a larger Council Chambers, full compliance with ADA, and functional space for both staff and the public.
Location and Design
The Town evaluated no fewer than 8 potential locations for a Town Hall within the Town limits. This included existing buildings (which would require renovation) and vacant land (which is at a premium). Multiple factors were considered, to include accessibility for the public, cost of each option, and site constraints.
As part of the Salamander Resort rezoning, approved in 2007, Salamander agreed to provide a location for a Town Office in their “Mixed-Use Village” portion of the development on North Pendleton Street. In addition, Salamander proffered a “Village Green” open space area that would allow access by the public, small events, community activities, and limited recreational options.
After multiple layout iterations and discussions, the Town Council has conceptually agreed to a Letter of Intent with Salamander that would relocate the already-approved location of the Town Office and Village Green to the parcel that is immediately adjacent to the Town’s recently-acquired property. The majority of this property is proposed to be consolidated into one parcel to provide for a Town Hall and associated parking, and the Village Green will be an adjacent open space owned by Salamander and available for use by the Town and residents.
The Town Hall will be built in the location of the current Town Office building. By replacing the current building, the Town will maintain connection with the community and ease of pedestrian and vehicular access. A covered, public walkway will provide a connection between the parking and Town Green to the north and West Marshall Street to the South. A conceptual layout of the site and building is provided at this link.
Initial renderings and sketches of the new Town Hall have been developed to guide the formal architectural and engineering process. The Town will work with its architect and the HDRC to ensure that the design is complementary to existing architecture in Middleburg, that it reflects an appropriate feel and welcoming atmosphere, and that it blends in with its immediate neighbors.
Expected Timeline & Service Delivery
The Town anticipates a number of activities to take place concurrently. These include the architectural and engineering process, the rezoning process to relocate the proffered Town Hall and Town Green sites, and financing discussions.
It is the Town’s goal to complete the entire project in 24-30 months. It is expected that site development and construction will take 15-18 months. As a result, Town services will be temporarily disrupted, as the existing Town Office will be demolished at that time. The Town Council and staff are exploring a variety of options to provide continuity of public services to the Town, to include temporary offices or short-term leased space.
Currently, the Town has $6.5 Million budgeted for this project based on early design concepts. Once architectural design, final engineering and construction drawings are prepared, a full project estimate will be developed.
Last year, the Town received a presentation on the Town’s financial ability to pay for the new Town Office. The Town’s Financial Advisor provided numerous scenarios that indicate the Town’s financial strength and ability to pay for this project without impacting property tax rates and with little to no impact on other tax rates (such as Meals Tax or Lodging Tax). In addition, the Town is seeking grant opportunities to offset the Town’s direct costs of the project. With current interest rates at historic lows, it is likely that the Town will borrow the majority of the cost of the project. The Town’s current revenues can cover the debt service as projected.
By consolidating all Town operations into one location, the Town will save the amount currently spent on leasing the Police Dept. offices, which is currently $47,000 per year. In addition, the Town will avoid future repairs, renovations, and modifications that would be required at the existing Town Office location due to the age of the building and lack of certain accessibility accommodations. Finally, the Town has digitized nearly all of its paper files, which will reduce the amount of storage space required in the new building.
With all of these factors into place, the current project is financially feasible, fiscally prudent, and will not burden residents with additional taxes. However, the Town recognizes the current economic situation due to COVID-19 and assures the public that no final decisions on issuing a construction contract or incurring debt will be approved until additional financial reviews are completed to affirm our fiscal strength.
Public Engagement & Input
The Town always accepts input from the public on topics facing the community. For this project, the Town is interested in hearing what amenities or services that citizens would like to see provided in the new Town Hall. Citizens may reach out to the Town Council or to the Town Clerk at 540-687-5152 or via email..
It is anticipated that the Town will hold two additional Public Input/Review sessions when the initial design documents are being prepared.
The public is welcome and encouraged to reach out to the Town with any questions or input.
Town Clerk / Project Lead – Rhonda North – Email – 540-687-5152
Town Manager – Danny Davis – Email – 540-687-5152
Mayor Bridge Littleton – Email – 540-687-5152