Purcellville Police cruiser

After a two-year search, the discussion surrounding a proposed $6.5 million police headquarters in Purcellville continued at a recent Purcellville Town Council meeting. The town has narrowed the site options down to three.

Josh Bennett with Moseley Architects presented the three options on Aug. 11: 36803 Allder School Road near Woodgrove High School; 36716 W. Main Street across from Loudoun Golf and Country Club; and on Hirst Road across the street from Purcellville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

In the meantime, the town is also considering several sites for a temporary location while the permanent police station is under construction, which is estimated at 19 months.

Town Manager David Mekarski said there are four temporary spaces under consideration — the Pickwick Building, Pullen House, former Dragon Hops brewery and to expand space at the current location in the Lowers Risk Group building.

Of the four options, the Dragon Hops brewery space was deemed to be the most favorable based on several factors including access, visibility and cost, with the Pickwick building and Lowers buildings a close second and third.

Police Chief Cynthia McAlister has outlined why she believes it is important for the police station to move from its current location. A few of the reasons include unsecured parking at the current space, a lack of stand-off distance from the building, clear sightlines into the building, a small lobby, no public restrooms, an interrogation room without recording capabilities and a shortage of workspace for the police officers, she said.

Bennett’s team assessed the space needs for a new building at 12,000 square feet for the department’s 32 staff members. They have also created a floor plan outlining how the department should function and serve the needs of the town.

Councilman Stanley Milan asked whether the cost in the presentation included land for the new construction. Mekarski said it did not, and he said a rough estimate for purchasing commercial land is $100,000 per acre, with a recommended need of five acres for this project.

Councilman Tip Stinnette asked about the timeline for planning the project and said a three-year timeline may be too aggressive.

“If we use a three-year time horizon, we are already behind the curve, because we have to acquire the land, and chances are a three-year time horizon is probably best characterized as overly aggressive. Five years means we have to start our critical path now. Seven years allows us to think about this and breathe before we start a critical path,” Stinnette said.

Mekarski agreed that three years is fairly aggressive. Town Council also plans to include community participation in the collaborative process of planning the new police station.

However, Mekarski emphasized the fact interest rates are at a 60-year low, and he suggested the town should consider a way to finance the project now while the rates remain low.

“The time to borrow money is not three, five or seven years from now. It really is now,” he said.

Based on current projections, the town could finance the $6.5 million project with an annual payment around $400,000 over nearly 20 years.

The next steps are to invite the town’s financial consultant, Davenport, to present financing options and for Town Council to discuss how it would like to proceed.

(21) comments

Fairmont

Sadly, the Town SOLD the old town hall where Dragon Hops once lived years ago. That was where the police station was, in the exact center of Town and on Main Street. The best logical location. The parking lot could easily be secured. Why they do not move back to where the PPD was in the 1990s and instead intend to spend millions more in the process is beyond me. Quite frankly, I miss the REAL Old small town of Purcellville from back then; long before eall the "no growthers" moved into their new homes on old farms and suddenly decided what was best for a Town that flourished quite fine without them for many decades.

LCPS teacher

Why does there need to be new construction? Why not use the old city hall/Dragon Hops building and modify it? It's a GREAT presence right there on Main Street in Purcellville, has ample parking, has bathrooms, and would likely cost less than a brand new station. At least explore that possibility. We, who live in the town, already get hit twice wit real estate and personal property tax, plus pay stupid money for what I call the liquid gold that comes out of our faucets.

LoudounPulse

I thought the Purcellville liberals wanted to defund the police. Who needs them, right? Just send in a social worker for an armed robbery of a store.

Hodor

No one cares man.

Voltaire

LP--your premise is wrong. Social workers would NOT be sent to handle a call concerning armed robbery. That would still be the sole responsibility of the law enforcement officer.

LoudounPulse

Are you sure? The defund the police crowd doesn't believe in armed law enforcement. They believe criminals need mental and social help, not a take down with a billyclub.

Voltaire

LP--Yes, the commission of an armed robbery is a direct violation of the Criminal Code. Further, there is nothing about committing an armed robbery that would require a social worker. You cannot make a credible argument that all criminals do not need some form of mental/social help. Each individual is different as is the situation.

MakingSense

It is infuriating that municipalities always want the nicest buildings and amenities when it's paid for with other peoples money. Think about it. When you bought or built your house - sure, it would be nice to have a wine cellar, or sauna, or jacuzzi tub - but it all wasn't likely in your budget, so you made do without. But not with municipalities, somehow they have to have it all. "Clear site lines"," Interrogation rooms" - really? It's Purcellville - it is 3.1 sq. miles and there are 32 staff members - that's embarrassing. Aren't we in enough debt already? And, don't be fooled by the budgetary numbers. The parcel across from the fire station does not have Town water or sewer. How much is that going to add to the project. I am not convinced we even need a Police Department. We're bigger, but Hamilton and Round Hill don't have Police and they seem to be doing just fine.

westernloudounguy

I don't live in Purcellville, so I don't really care if they build this or not. However, I would point out that Pville has over 10,000 residents and Hamilton and Round Hill combined have less than 1,300- so not really an apples to apples comparison. Also, this article doesn't really give any information that would lead one to assume the building and amenities they plan would be the "nicest". I kind of doubt they are going to be building a trophy class office space. Regardless, any discussion of this new building needs to include a discussion of the current building. Besides the fact that it appears to be suboptimal for police use, it's not like it's free. The town is paying rent every month and I'm sure it escalates 3-5% every year. For all I know, they may already be paying something close to $400,000 a year in rent.

Loudoun Observer

Hopefully the building will be very well fortified given the riots and destruction that are now happening pretty much every night.

amerigirl

sure that happens so much in Loudoun. I bet once trump is gone there won't be very many protests or riots.

marv

a g - Trump could personally discover a cure for Cancer and jealous misfits would condemn him for not doing it sooner. The 2020 DNC has a 3 plank platform which is = 1 - Blame Donald Trump 2 - A chicken in every pot 3 - Blame Donald Trump. Your own statement indicates that the rioters are being paid by Trump haters.

westernloudounguy

You mean injecting yourself with bleach isn't a cure for cancer......uh oh.

sbelofsky

Wow! I hope none of you live in Purcellville; I am proud of our police department. I have seen them respond to some of the worse situations imaginable and still manage to retain a good relationship with town residents (especially my son when he lived at home). If you are going to make this personal and reply to me by saying something nasty keep it to yourself.

Science Can Save Us

Beyond giving traffic tickets, what does the Purcellville police force actually do?

Loudounest

Direct traffic for town parades.

LoudounPulse

Call LCSO when it gets serious.

Voltaire

LP--it depends on whether the incorporation of the Town of Purcellville is similar to the incorporation of cities. If so, then the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) would not have primary jurisdiction over Purcellville. The LCSO, if asked by the Purcellville Police Department, would provide mutual aid assistance if requested by the town police department. That process is the process that incorporated cities and their surrounding counties have now. It doesn't apply to the Virginia State Police has they have statewide jurisdiction.

Voltaire

Science Can Save Us--according to the Purcellville Police Department (PPD) webpage, the PPD does the following: "...Our Police Department prides itself on providing 24 hour, 7 days a week patrol coverage to the Town. Patrol officers are first responders to all law enforcement calls for service within the Town of Purcellville. Our patrol officers enforce traffic violations, investigate vehicle crashes, and manage traffic complaints. Officers also handle criminal investigations, domestic related events, service calls, and nuisance complaints."

LCPS teacher

Pretty much...

loudouncommonsense

would like to see a pros/cons of leasing vs build.

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