Purcellville Staff to Negotiate 5-Year Lease for Temporary Police HQ

The Purcellville Police Department will remain in its current location at least through February 2026.

The Town Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to authorize the town staff to negotiate a new, five-year lease with the Lowers Risk Group for the agency to remain in the 4,300-square-foot building it has leased since 2005. Town Attorney Sally Hankins has been authorized to expend no more than $1.5 million to both execute the lease and perform security-related improvements to the building. The Police Department in the next five years also will expand its operations in the space by another 2,000 square feet.

The town is paying $9,700 monthly on its lease with Lowers, which expires in February. Police Chief Cynthia McAlister last week said the space, which was intended to house the town’s police force until 2015 at most, is inadequate and cramped. She has said on multiple occasions that the building is also not as secure as it should be.

“There’s nothing safe about that building,” she said last Wednesday.

Overall, the town is looking to build a new, permanent police headquarters to last 40 years. According to Moseley Architects projections, if the town builds one in the next three years, it will cost a minimum of $6.4 million in hard costs. If it waits to build the headquarters until 2030, it will cost a minimum of $8.4 million, according to the Oct. 21 presentation by Moseley Architects.

The town’s financial advisor, David Rose, the senior vice president at Davenport, said on Oct. 21 that the town will inevitably be stuck paying about $1 million on a temporary location regardless of whether the police force remains in a leased space for three or 10 years. He said to build a permanent headquarters in the next three years, the town will need to borrow $7 million for 25 years, which will likely come with an annual interest rate of 3.5%. Rose mentioned that all costs associated with building a permanent police headquarters will rise exponentially as inflation heightens and interest rates increase from today’s historically low levels.

“I think that’s a pretty substantial argument,” Town Manager David Mekarski said of the drive to get the ball rolling on the project.

Moseley Architects Vice President Josh Bennet last week presented four location options for construction of a permanent headquarters—one just south of Woodgrove High School along Mayfair Crown Drive, one off Hirst Road across Maple Avenue from the fire station, one just west of the town limits off West Main Street, and another on 2.25 acres of the Basham Simms Wastewater Facility property.

Moseley anticipates it will take 12 months to build a permanent headquarters from the day the selected construction company breaks ground.

The Town Council will continue permanent headquarters discussions once Davenport representatives brief the council on debt restructuring options on Dec. 8.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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