Summary of Structural Analysis, Sale and Short/Long Term Reuse Options

Background:

Recently, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board programs, which had been housed in the Shadow Lawn Building, moved to the Warrenton Community Center (formerly Central Elementary School), along with the Central Region Program Office of the Parks and Recreation Department. In March of 2003, the Board of Supervisors approved the award of a contract for the renovation of the lower level of the 320 Hospital Hill Building, into which the balance of the Parks and Recreation Department's administrative office is scheduled to move during the Summer of 2003.  These actions will result in both buildings becoming vacant.

In April of 2003, the Board directed staff to examine the potential reuse of these buildings for these and other governmental purposes including, but not limited, to the adaptation of the Shadow Lawn building for a Historic Resources Library and the movement of the County's Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Development programs to the Parks and Recreation Administration Building , in addition to the sale option.  It is anticipated that the Parks and Recreation Administration move to 320 Hospital Hill will take place in September.

Structural Analysis:

Under the direction of the Director of General Services, Moseley Architects completed a detailed building evaluation of both buildings. Their findings, summarized below, were that significant repairs and maintenance would be needed to both buildings if the County were to continue to use them for governmental offices in the long term. The executive summary of each report is attached. Moseley estimates that long-term maintenance, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) renovations, and repairs needed to the Parks and Recreation Building would be approximately $225,000. Moseley estimates the cost of repairs, maintenance; ADA renovations needed to the Shadow Lawn Building would be approximately $515,000. Staff estimates that this cost may be reduced to approximately $400,000 if a decision is made not to install second floor ADA upgrades in the Shadow Lawn Building . Please note this estimate does not include the cost of renovating the space for a possible Historic Resources Library.

Disposition Alternatives:

1.      Sale of one or both properties:

Staff estimates that the sale of these buildings would bring approximately $500,000.  It is important to note that the buildings are both located on one undivided parcel along with the parking area immediately behind the buildings and the top tier of the municipal parking lot.  Should this option be selected, staff recommends that the parcel be subdivided into its components parts prior to the sale of the buildings.  Staff also recommends that the County work with the Town to rezone the buildings. Currently, they are zoned public/semi-public.  Lastly, it should be noted that the Town of Warrenton has a 25% undivided ownership interest in the property.

2.      Short Term Reuse (2 - 4 years):

Working with General Services, staff has estimated that the Parks and Recreation Building is in need of approximately $35,000 of repairs in the short-term. These expenditures would help stabilize the building and help prevent further deterioration. These costs apply to general office use and would be the same regardless of whether Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture move into the space or Parks and Recreation stays in place.  The relocation of Economic Development, Tourism and Agricultural Development will save $12,000 in rent per year.  Other possible short-term uses could include the Registrar or Extension, though neither is recommended by staff as a short-term relocation. An analysis of short-term repairs necessary for the Shadow Lawn Building is under way, preliminary estimates suggest the cost may be approximately $250,000 to $300,000. Staff anticipates that due to the deterioration of the building, the short-term costs will be significantly more than the Parks and Recreation Building .

3.      Long Term Use (beyond 4 years):

Both structural analyses represent the approximate cost to bring the buildings up to standard.  Beyond those expenses, staff does not anticipate significant costs to continue use of the Parks and Recreation Administration Building , beyond normal maintenance and repair for continued office-style uses. With regard to the Shadow Lawn Building , costs have not yet been identified for the conversion of Shadow Lawn from a "healthy building" to a Historic Resources Library or any other longer-term use.  Other long-term uses could be Registrar , Parks and Recreation Administration or general office use space. Should the Board be interested in a specific long term option(s), the next step in the analysis would be to develop a detailed estimate.

4.      Temporary Uses (up to 12 months):

The County has received two requests for temporary space within either building. The Town of Warrenton , on behalf of the Circuit Rider program, has requested the use of two offices. The Mosby Foundation has requested the use of a single office. Additional temporary uses could include office space for the Northern Sports Field Project Officer, which would result in a $500 per month rental savings, and storage for various agencies and programs. For example, the kitchen area in the Shadow Lawn Building currently serves as the collection point for a back-to-school program for the Department of Social Services.