Work to build the new Lovettsville Community Center will come to a halt Friday as the county staff seeks another contractor to finish the job.
According to Loudoun Public Information Officer Glen Barbour, the county notified the Meridian Construction Co. on Dec. 30 that it would terminate its $10.8 million contract effective Jan. 17 or upon the completion of phase one of the project, whichever comes first. Barbour said the county has already paid Meridian $752,686.30.
In an email to Lovettsville Town Manager Rob Ritter last week, County Administrator Tim Hemstreet indicated that’s happening because the county staff is not impressed with the pace at which Meridian crews have been performing the work—work that will demolish the existing community center and build a new one.
“Meridian has not progressed in accordance with the county’s expectations,” Hemstreet wrote.
Barbour said the county plans to rebid the project in about six or seven months and that county staff expects work to resume in late fall 2020.
Because the construction site will be unattended for a period of time, Mayor Nate Fontaine asked Ritter to coordinate with the county to ensure public safety is kept a priority.
Barbour said the county would stabilize the work area to protect it from unauthorized access.
“It is the county’s practice to ensure any areas that accessible to the public are safe,” he stated. “This site will be reviewed and any measures deemed necessary to protect the public will certainly be in place.”
Ritter said he also requested the county to send a staff member to the Jan. 23 Town Council meeting to provide updates on the long-awaited project, which began with the hiring of a design firm in 2013.
The completion of phase one will see the removal of the baseball field and installation of a gravel parking lot, among other work.
Phase two will see a new construction firm build the new community center, which will feature a full-size gymnasium, five classrooms, a multipurpose room, a kitchen, administrative offices, meeting space and storage areas. The existing 1,200-square-foot pool house will also be expanded by 600 square feet.
In all, the project will cost $13.73 million, according to the Department of Transportation & Capital Infrastructure’s Fiscal Year 2020 Second Quarter Capital Project Report. The department presented that report to the Board of Supervisors’ Finance/Government Operations and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday night.
Barbour said the rebidding process might result in a change in that total project cost.
Since construction began in July, there have been multiple delays.
While phase one was originally scheduled to wrap up Sept. 27, in October it was announced that a delay in obtaining VDOT and grading permits had pushed that date to Nov. 22.
In late November, it was again announced the project had been delayed two months.
The entire project was most recently scheduled to wrap up by winter 2022. That will be pushed at least to 2023.