New Town Hall Project

New Town Hall Updated Sketch 03-04-2021 v2

Summary

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.

Watch the recording of the Public Outreach Session #1 that was given on March 15th (approx 70 minutes long) or click here for the slide presentation



Background

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. Town Office 1

In the Town Office at this time, there are 7 full-time staff , to include 3 staff in the upstairs that is only accessible via a narrow staircase. The Town Office  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 the Town needs approximately 12,700 square feet to meet the Town’s current and future needs.   This amount of space includes three public meeting rooms, a larger Council Chambers, functional space for both staff and the Police Department, and public restrooms to serve the community.  It would also be ADA compliant.  

Location and Design

The Town evaluated no fewer than 8 potential locations for a Town Hall . These included existing buildings and vacant land. Multiple factors were considered, to include accessibility for the public, cost of each option, and site constraints.  In late 2019, the Town of Middleburg purchased a portion of the property immediate north of the existing Town Office, which added one-half acre to the existing Town Office location.

The Town Council also entered into a Letter of Intent with Salamander to relocate the already-approved location of the Town Office and Village Green, which were proffered as a part of their 2007 rezoning, to the parcel immediately adjacent to the Town’s recently-acquired property. The majority of this property will be consolidated into one parcel to provide for the new Town Hall and associated parking.  The Village Green, which will be an open space area that will be available for use by the Town and its residents and can be used for community events, will be an adjacent open space owned by Salamander.

 The Town Hall will be built immediately behind the location of the current Town Office building. This will allow the Town to maintain connection with the community and provide ease of pedestrian and vehicular access. 

The Town is working with its architect, Glave & Holmes, and the HDRC to ensure 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 is in the process of developing the architectural and engineering plans for the new building.  With the completion of the schematic design phase, the project is currently in the design development phase, to be followed by the development of the construction documents.  A number of other activities will take place concurrent with the plan development. These include the the rezoning process to relocate the proffered Town Hall and Village Green sites, financing discussions and pre-qualification of general contractors.

It is the Town’s goal to complete the design process by October of 2021, following which bids will be accepted.  It is expected that ground breaking will occur in January of 2022.  Construction of the building will take approximately 12 months.  The Town's goal is to begin building occupancy in January of 2023, which will then allow the existing Town Office building to be demolished, allowing for the creation of a  small Town green/pocket park at the front of the property.

Expected Cost

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 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.

Currently, the Town has $6.5 Million budgeted for this project based on early design concepts.  Revised cost estimates will be developed as the Town proceeds through the process of developing the architectural design, final engineering and construction drawings .

In 2019, 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 anticipated the Town will borrow the majority of the cost of the project. The Town’s current revenues can cover the debt service as projected. Given the extremely favorable market conditions currently being experienced, the Town has authorized its Financial Advisor to solicit proposals from a private bank to determine whether the Town could achieve even more savings by borrowing at this time.  

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 will hold a second public outreach session for this project in June following the development of the design plan.  

As with any topic facing the community, the Town is interested in hearing what amenities or services the 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..

The following documents demonstrate various levels of support for the project. This listing is provided as part of the Town's request for funding from Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton:

- Resolution of Support - Middleburg Town Council

- Supporting verbiage in Town's Comprehensive Plan (adopted October 2019) (look for highlights and red arrows)

- Loudoun County Capital Improvement Program - Funding of Portion of Town Hall Project and demonstrating County Board support of project

- Middleburg Business and Professional Association - Letter of Support

- Visit Loudoun Letter of Support

- Northern Virginia Regional Commission support for Town Hall Project 

- Virginia Municipal League Letter of Support

- Middleburg Eccentric Article and Editorial Support

- Middleburg Eccentric Article on New Town Hall

- Loudoun Now Article on New Town Hall

- Loudoun Times Article on New Town Hall

- Discussed at prior "State of the Town" addresses and Public Outreach Session on March 15, 2021

Contact

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