Pittsboro’s Town Hall project moves forward

Posted 1/17/20

PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s proposed $18 million town hall project received the green light to move into the “construction document” phase Monday night from the Pittsboro Board of …

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Pittsboro’s Town Hall project moves forward

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PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s proposed $18 million town hall project received the green light to move into the “construction document” phase Monday night from the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners.

The board approved the initial designs, budget and proposed timeline presented by Hobbs Architects of Pittsboro, the firm hired to design the 42,000-sq.-ft. facility which will be located on Salisbury Street where the former Piggly Wiggly stood before its demolition last February.

The building will have four floors with the first and fourth floor dedicated to town staff. The second floor will house the Chatham County Board of Elections, with the ability to be used as an early voting site. The third floor will house Chatham County Department of Health staff. In Chatham County’s FY 2018-2019 budget, it appropriated $450,000 help the town buy the land in for the future town hall complex with the expectation that it would engage in a 10-year lease.

A two-story parking deck will house 134 spaces with first floor access from Salisbury Street and second floor access from Hanks Street. Architect Taylor Hobbs, who discussed the design with the board on Monday, noted that the dual access with a ramp between floors wasn’t possible because of space constraints at the property.

During the second phase of design, engineers working with Hobbs Architects noted there were several infrastructure concerns that would need to be addressed during the construction. They included a stormwater system along Salisbury Street, a water extension line and the burial of CenturyLink overhead cables. At the same time, engineers suggested replacing the nearly 100-year old terracotta sewer line and an additional water extension line.

The cost for the base bid for readying the site and construction of the parking deck and building is estimated to be about $15.8 million. During the board’s discussion, items that were not required for construction but were items suggested by the board or staff were called “alternatives.” Those alternatives included the cost for the building to be “solar-ready,” an underground stormwater detention and treatment device and a full building generator. Those items would not be included in the base-bid for the project, but would be requested from the bidders as on-site bid alternatives. The estimated cost of all those alternatives brings the cost up to about $16.5 million.

Off-site alternatives which were suggested by the engineers for infrastructure were placed separately on the budget and are estimated to cost just under $1 million. Since they are infrastructure projects, the town may have different sources of revenue for those projects and were not included in the base bid estimates. This would bring the total cost of the project to nearly $18 million.

The board decided to continue to the next phase of the project, which includes having Hobbs Architects create construction plans which will “firm up the numbers,” according to Hobbs. Hobbs said he anticipates that process will be complete in June, at which time a request for bids will be sent out with the bidding process and decision to be complete by July. Hobbs said that if the “schedule holds,” construction will begin in August and will last 15 months with a completion date estimated for November 2021.

Reporter Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.


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