The Cape Charles Town Council voted Thursday to move forward with plans for a new municipal building. There were five options on the table, and Council chose Option #5, constructing a new building for all functions except the library. The library will remain at its current location. The town would sell the Municipal and Civic Center buildings and the third floor of the library building.
Staff recommended Option #1, mainly because the cost was lower than Option #5. The consensus among Town Council was that, even as Option #1 was cheaper, there were too many issues and too many unknowns regarding the renovation of the structure at 14 Plum Street.
Councilman Bennett noted that anytime an older structure is renovated, you never know what will be found once construction begins. In many cases, structural work will add time and significantly raise the cost.
The logistics of renovating 14 Plum were also problematic. The police would move out of the first floor, staff would move from the second to the first while the second floor was renovated. After the second-floor work is completed, staff and construction crews would switch while the first floor is renovated. The disruption to the daily work routine while all this went on would be too much.
Option #5 would include selling the library, then buying back the first floor, keeping the operations just as they are. The third floor would become apartments or condos.
The location of the new municipal building will be at the geographic center of town, just south of the Rosenwald School building.