Town of Middleburg Awards Construction Contract for New Town Hall
Groundbreaking Ceremony Planned for Monday, January 24th at 4:00pm
MIDDLEBURG, Va., January 21, 2022 – The Town of Middleburg has awarded a construction contract to Cooper Building Services, LLC, of Frederick, Maryland (“Cooper”), for the site development and construction of its new Town Hall in the amount of $10.7 Million. After a ten-month design and engineering process, which included approvals and input by multiple citizen-led advisory committees and commissions, the Town completed its construction documents in November 2021. During this process in 2021, the Town held two, hour-long public information sessions to keep citizens informed of the process and to allow them to provide feedback.
Eleven pre-qualified firms were issued the Invitation for Bids. Of these firms, four submitted responsive bids, which varied in cost between $10.7 and $11.1 Million, and Cooper was the lowest bidder. The Town is working with Cooper and its construction management team to find value engineering cost improvements.
The cost of the Town Hall project has increased from the most recent estimates for a variety of reasons. Specifically, the construction industry is experiencing significant cost increases due to COVID-19 impacts, supply chain issues, labor challenges, record inflation, and strong demand for construction in the region. For example, since the beginning of the pandemic, some building materials have increased in price by over 200%. However, as our financial advisors have told us, waiting will likely only lead to further increase in costs over time. In many construction areas they are seeing 1-2% monthly escalations. In addition, the influx of federal dollars into infrastructure projects will increase demand and further push costs higher. If the Town Hall were not built at this at this time, the Town and its consultants saw no scenario where the project cost would reduce, rather it would have continued to escalate.
“This is a generational project for the Town of Middleburg. The need was first identified in 2006 and will allow us to serve the citizens, businesses, and visitors of Middleburg for decades to come,” said Vice-Mayor Peter Leonard-Morgan, who serves as the public information liaison for the project. “While it is a challenging time to construct a new building, we unanimously support the project and are eager to see it completed.”
Mayor Bridge Littleton said, “The Town remains in a very strong financial situation, perhaps the strongest in its history. Over the last 10 years the Town has worked very hard to put ourselves in this financial position. We have saved approximately 200% of our annual operating expenses in our fiscal reserves.” The Town’s reserve fund is approximately $6.7 Million, with its annual general fund expenses at $3.5m. The Town’s Reserve policy requires the Town to hold at least 125% of annual expenses as a fiscal reserve. As a result, the Town has a healthy reserve balance to handle unforeseen emergencies, economic stresses, or financial challenges should they arrive in the future while still being able to move forward with this project.
The Town was able to secure $8m in bonded debt for the project at a very low rate of 2.72%. As a result, no increase in residential property taxes is required to pay for the cost of the project, as the Town’s current revenue streams are sufficient to cover the Town’s debt service and are continuing to show strength during recovery from the pandemic.
The Town has scheduled a brief groundbreaking ceremony for the new Town Hall on Monday, January 24, 2022, at 4:00pm. The ceremony will take place in the open field north of the existing Town Office, accessed from N. Pendleton Street. Limited parking is available on site; attendees are requested to walk from the Town Office or from the Town along N. Pendleton Street.
The Town will also hold a Public Information Session on the Town Hall project in the coming weeks for the public.
Questions can be directed to Rhonda North, Project Lead, or Danny Davis, Town Manager, at 540-687-5152.
Images from the Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, January 24, 2022, at 4:00pm:
Right: Loudoun County Supervisor – Catoctin District: Caleb Kershner, Chair – Loudoun County Board of Supervisors: Phyllis Randall, and Founder & CEO – Salamander Hotels & Resorts: Sheila Johnson.
Photos by Kaitlin Hill.