Murphy miffed about timeline for atrium upgrade
County looking to bump up security in goverment building
The Charles County Government Building is due for updates, but the timetable in which the building will receive them is stretched out a bit further than the Charles County Board of Commissioners would like.
The building will un- dergo renovations to increase security in its atrium, according to the county’s capital projects quarterly report. The updates include a new security desk enclosure, structural improvements for new upper-level office space in the building and updates on mechanical and electrical work.
Director of Public Works Bill Shreve said conceptual drawings for the updated atrium were submitted in the summer of 2015, but the proposal for design services was only requested in late November and is not expected to return any results until early this month.
The project is expected to take 660 days, Shreve said, with the feasibility phase already complet- ed and the design phase underway. The procurement phase will start in the spring of 2017 and the construction phase will start in the spring of 2018, he said.
But Commissioners’ President Peter Murphy (D) did want to see that timeline reduced a bit.
“This seems like an aw- fully long time to get this started,” Murphy said. “The conceptual designs were done in 2015 and now we’re almost a year and a half later.”
Shreve said there were other projects that “took priority” and pushed the timeline for completion back on this project. It was originally being managed by a different department, he said, but was recently turned over to the coun- ty’s Department of Capital Services.
“It should move a little faster now,” Shreve said.
John Stevens, the chief
of capital services, said the project has “more or less being re-initiated.”
“This 660 days, I tried to reflect back when this study was first completed and that’s why it seems like an enormous amount of time,” Stevens said. “There was a dormant stage and that accounts for a lot of those days as well.”
Murphy said getting the project done as soon as possible is still a concern for the county. It is not being done just for the sake of getting an update, he said, but rather for the security of county employees.
“The individuals that sit out there now are totally exposed, and I think it’s much more of a safety issue for our employees,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he is not questioning whether or not the department has made safety a priority. He has no doubt that they have, he said, but he still wants to see the timeline pushed forward.
If all goes according to schedule, Shreve said, the project will be done by the time it says it will in the report. If nothing else,
Shreve said, the county should be able to get the construction phase started prior than 2018 which would have it completed before the Capital Service plan’s anticipated date.
Stevens agreed with Shreve, saying the county should — at the very least — be able to bump the beginning of the construction phase forward.
“I think it’s something we really need to address,” Murphy said.