Kure Beach Breaks Ground On Town Hall, Police and Fire Station Project

The Town of Kure Beach held a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday morning, February 20th, for a multi-million dollar project to renovate their existing Town Hall, Police and Fire facilities.  Members of the Town Council, the architect, contractor and project manager used gold color shovels to break ground. See report below... The Town of Kure Beach held a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday morning, February 20th, for a multi-million dollar project to renovate their existing Town Hall, Police and Fire facilities. Members of the Town Council, the architect, contractor and project manager used gold color shovels to break ground. See report below...

Kure Beach Breaks Ground On Town Hall, Police and Fire Station Project Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 20 February 2018 03:04

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Town of Kure Beach held a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday February 20th, at 9am at a vacant lot at 117 Settlers Lane adjacent to the existing Town Hall and Police Station.

Representatives of the builder, architect, Town Council and project manager participated in the ceremony wearing hard hats displaying the Town's official Seal and using gold color shovels to break ground on the project. Work actually began a couple of weeks ago when crews began removing some of the interior of the building to begin renovations.

The Town Council unanimously approved a measure last year to begin seeking financing for the $5.5 million dollar project to renovate and expand Town Hall, their Police Station and build a new Fire Station.

The Council voted at their August 17th, 2017, meeting to hire Constructive Building Solutions, LLC, of Wilmington, NC, to serve as project manager for an upcoming project to renovate and expand Town Hall and build a new Fire Station. The total estimated cost of the project is $5.5 million dollars. Constructive Building Solutions will be paid $85,400 for a 12-month time frame with an hourly rate of $125 for "Council requested items over and above the scope of services included in the proposal."

According to Town officials, "The improvement project is expected to begin in November and will require re-location of Administration, Finance, Building, Recreation and Police staffing and closing of the Town Hall and Police Building during construction. Fire personnel will remain in their current location during this time. Completion is expected to take 12 – 18 months. Estimated budget is $3 million for a new Fire Station and $2 million for expansion and renovation" of Town Hall and the Police Station for a total of $5 million.

According to the Town, the current Police, Fire and Town Hall buildings were constructed 20+ plus years ago in the 1990s and have not been expanded since. Staffing has more than doubled over the years. The Fire Department used to consist of mostly volunteers, but now has eight full time employees, plus volunteers.

Statutory requirements regarding retention of documents, police evidence storage, fire required equipment and turn out gear have also increased over the years. This has resulted in inadequate office space for staff, cramped storage space for evidence and document retention.

In a narrative for the project is states, "Because of the growth of the town as a full time residence and the increase of visitors and demands for services, the subject of space needs was addressed by Town Council in 2016. It was decided that the Town Hall building will be expanded to add new offices for Building Inspections and Recreation staff, an additional conference room, additional document vaults and a larger Council room."

The Police Department building will be updated and expanded into the current attached building used by Fire Personnel. A new Fire station will be constructed on land adjacent to the Town Hall complex. Additionally, the traffic and parking layout will be re-designed to add 48 more parking spaces to accommodate visitors and staff. Town Council expects these improvements will serve the town needs adequately for 25 years or more.

Last week, the Town announced the ground breaking ceremony in a press release which stated, "The design includes expanding the Town Hall building to add offices, additional document vaults and a larger Council room. The Town Hall building houses three departments. It also includes renovation of the existing Police building with expansion into the current Fire Station for use by the Police Department. Additionally, a new Fire station is to be constructed on land adjacent to the Town Hall complex, and the traffic and parking layout will be re-designed to add 48 more parking spaces to accommodate residents, visitors and staff."
The Fire and Public Works staff will not move and those facilities will remain open as usual during the project.

The temporary location for Town Hall and Police Department personnel is at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area located approximately two miles south of the current Town Hall site on Fort Fisher Boulevard. Signage will be onsite providing directions to the facility. While the main Town Hall building is closed for renovation and expansion for the next 10-12 months, there will not be a payment drop box available. Payments may be made online on the Town's website at www.townofkurebeach.org  under online payments; by phone at 910-458-8216 with a credit/debit card or mailed to the 117 Settlers Lane address, which will not change during this time.

All council, board and committee meetings will be held at the temporary Town Hall location during renovation and expansion.

Prior to turning the dirt, Mayor Craig Bloszinsky said, "This is not just a glorious monument that we are building. This Town has about 25 to 30 new start permits a year. That may not be a lot to a lot of communities but it's a lot to us. We have 266 remaining open lots and a lot of homes on the front that someday will probably be 4,000 square feet instead of the 1,500 square feet they are today. According to Planning and Zoning we have the ability for 300 plus or more structures on those open lots. That's going to bring people to Town. This is the beginning of infrastructure that we believe is necessary to service this population; our guests as well as our citizens."

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