Plans discussed for 911 center
BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners at a special called meeting this past Monday met with representatives from Gastonia-based Stewart Cooper Newell Architects to discuss the building plans for the county’s new 911 center.
Stewart Cooper Newell Principal Architect and Vice President James Stumbo presented blueprints to the board and fielded questions.
The 911 center will be built on the hill overlooking Bakersville next to the courthouse. It was originally slated to be 4,800 square feet, but after budget concerns was trimmed to 3,200 square feet.
Mitchell County Manager Kathy Young reiterated that while it wasn’t ideal to cut the square footage, a concerted effort was made to cut mostly from storage space rather than where the center’s employees will frequently occupy.
The project will cost approximately $1.261 million. The budget called for $1.254 million, but there is about $100,000 in contingency money available.
The project will cost an estimated $350-400 per square foot and is completely grant-funded.
There is no further cost breakdown available at this time, but it will be made available once the project goes out for bid.
The new building will be built with future expansion in mind, Stumbo said. It is designed in a way that will make adding more buildings easier in the future.
The 911 center’s current building is about 3,400 square feet. Stumbo said the new design, which decreases that space by about 200 square feet, is a more efficient use of space.
“We don’t use much space for corridors,” he said. “It’s a straightforward and simple design.”
The building will be brick on the outside with concrete blocks as the inside face. The roof will incorporate pitched wood trusses. The design is made to complement the courthouse.
The center will be designed to withstand up to 200-mile per hour winds and will have bullet-resistant glazed windows. The emergency operators will be able to look out of windows and see downtown Bakersville.
The project is on track to go out for bid in late January. Construction should start as early as March or April, Stumbo added.
State law requires the architect to take the lowest bid unless there is a compelling reason not to.
“Truthfully, it’s a small contract for a developer,” Stumbo said. “It’s also hard to get to.”
Board chair Vern Grindstaff said he had concerns over the need to cut the square footage, but added he’s confident the project will proceed smoothly.
“I trust all the critical partners know what they’re doing,” Grindstaff said.