The current police, fire and town hall buildings were constructed in the 1990s. Since then, town staff has more than doubled. North Carolina laws governing retention of documents, police evidence storage, and required fire equipment have created demands for space. Growth in population, increase in visitors, and demands for services have also increased space needs. All of these factors resulted in Town Council addressing this matter at a retreat at the beginning of 2016.
In July 2016, Town Council hired an architectural firm to provide a design and an estimated construction budget for the expansion of town facilities. The design includes expanding the Town Hall building to add offices, additional document vaults and a larger Council room. It also includes renovation of the existing police building and expansion into the current attached building used by the fire 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 visitors and staff.
In February 2017, Council hired the same firm to prepare plans and specifications for construction. Construction bids will be received October 19, 2017.
On November 2, 2017, Council awarded a construction contract to Thomas Construction Group, LLC in the amount of $4,386,807. Total project budget was set at $5,330,959 with $330,959 to be transferred from the General Fund and $5,000,000 to be financed.
Town Council expects these improvements to serve the Town’s needs adequately for another 25+ years. Construction should begin in January 2018 and take at least a year to complete. During construction, the town hall and police buildings will be closed and the site will be fenced with no access allowed. The Building Inspections, Finance, Police and Administration/Recreation staff will relocate to construction trailers located at the Fort Fisher Recreation Area near the National Guard Training Facility. The fire department will remain in its current location with limited access to the public on Seventh Avenue.