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New Loudoun Public Safety Firing Range could cost as much as $19.3 million

Loudoun's Board of Supervisors voted last night to increase the budget allotted for a long-planned public safety firing range from the original $14.3 million to up to $19.3 million.

The firing range is the largest public safety project in the county's capital improvement budget and its expected delivery date is summer 2017, according to a county report.

It will be located on Shreve Mill Road just west of the Dulles Greenway.

In 2011 the Board of Supervisors decided a county-owned firing range would be built in lieu of the original plan to build a more than $40 million facility and share the cost with other jurisdictions including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy.

Since the project would no longer be a collaboration, the facility needed to be redesigned. At that time the county determined an indoor facility would be safer and less intrusive.

Most of the additional funding needed is for the design phase and re-planning of the facility.

For comparison, the Ashburn Sheriff's Station is expected to cost the county a little more than $9 million, and the next most expensive project is the E911 Center and General Office, which will cost $12 million.

Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) was supportive of the measure, reasoning that there's no real way to scale the project back if the county hopes to provide the safety measures needed for those who will be using the facility.

Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said he has made trips to the current facility. "Our current outdoor facilities is completely inadequate ... " he said. "The cost estimate of $14.3 million was based on that outdoor shared facility, and that was our portion of it."

Some of the design issues deal with safety and training standards that are mandated by previous court decisions for training sheriff's deputies.

"I feel we'll be in an awkward and maybe even precarious legal position if we don't go forward and approve this," Buona said.

Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) was also supportive of the measure citing the state of the current outdoor facility.

"Our first responders are a core function of government. I would not want us to be in a situation even putting one person's life in jeopardy because they were not in a position to have the proper training they need to prepare them for what they may meet on the street," said Volpe. "It would be a dereliction of duty for us to not let them have the training that they need."

Supervisors Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) and Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) opposed the action.

"I haven't voted for a firing range in the 15 years," said Delgaudio, noting he would have liked to see the project privatized.

"I am not going to support this at this time because this additional spending and requirements were not vetted before to my knowledge," said Ken Reid.


I got to say I find it funny you expect that republicans are somehow fiscally responsible when we have had evidence throughout my lifetime they spend like drunken sailors too.

The question is why so much money on a firing range? There has to be a cheaper alternative and a better way to spend the money like on schools or better roads.

We’re now several years into the Security Industrial Complex…and I guess we should be getting used to the fact that our police stations, fire stations, rescue stations and so on seem to be crafted with more attention to detail than our schools.   

This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.  If anything, we should spend $5 million per year helping our law enforcement workers understand that deadly force is a *last* resort…not a skill they spend time perfecting.

When is election day coming so we can retire a few (or more) of these so-called Republican supervisors?

Seems like a waste of our taxpayers money. What’s next a gym, ball fields their own movie theater?

Proffer-funded construction is expected to cost around $9 million, according to county documents, and operations and maintenance expenses, forecast to begin in fiscal 2015, are estimated to run $11.5 million during the six-year Capital Improvement Plan planning period.

The county paid One Loudoun more than $8.5 million for the 13-acre parcel nearly two years ago.

Our Sheriff’s department is small, why not just get them range time at a local range that has to be much cheaper than this.

Yeah Ed, because the criminals are disarming to avoid gun charges right?  I’d hate to be the cop armed with pepper spray when the criminal has a pistol.  In fact, I’m not going to be a civilian doing the same thing.  I like living too much.  You have fun employing non-lethal tools and techniques when you are faced with a criminal. 

Disarm the criminals and then everyone else can consider your utopia where there are no firearms.  Something tells me they aren’t going to volunteer their guns.

To Supervisor Ralph Buona:  You “feel” like the county would be be in an awkward and maybe even precarious legal position?  Are you aware the county has an attorney who’s job it is to clarify the legal positions for you? His name is Ron Brown.  Ask him for a legal opinion.  Then make that opinion public so the rest of us can see it. Don’t “feel” your into spending $20 million of our money.  And remember that it is *our* money, because we will.

To Supervisor Suzanne Volpe: Are you suggesting that our first responders are not currently getting the proper training they need? Because that’s what it sounds like you’re saying.

To FredSanford: You’re right.  It would be a great way to re-coup the money, but I suspect non-LEOs will never be allowed inside. We just get to pay the bills.

It has frozen over, our republican board of supervisors is spending like a bunch of democrats!

A macho man country club at taxpayer expense. Yes there is a price tag Volpe and this exceeds good sense. Republican board my a$$!

If the county wants to recoup the cost of the range, they should sell membership/access to the general public. There is no reason a range needs to be limited to law enforcement.

Don’t make guns the go-to tool of law enforcement and you wouldn’t need such an expensive building and the associated training costs.  Spend the money on non-lethal tools and techniques. The end result would be fewer civilian casualties without any additional law enforcement injuries. The last reported shooting of an officer in Loudoun was by another deputy.  And the one before that was self inflicted.  I don’t see how guns protect the officers but I do see how they allow officers to quickly kill mentally ill people (3 in recent memory) who are mostly a danger to themselves.

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