Ocean View’s new public works building to be up by fall

The Town of Ocean View hopes to have its new public works building completed and operational before the fall. The town council unanimously voted in December 2013 to award GGI Builders Inc. the contract to construct the building, which has long been under discussion.

Administrative Official and Public Works Director Charles McMullen said that the new building will be able to meet the needs of the public works department as the town continues to grow.

The single-story building will be 40 feet by 128 feet and have two 12-foot drive through bays, as well as a single 10-foot bay. There will be a separate heated area that includes office space, a lunchroom, a shower/locker room, a heated shop and two restrooms.

McMullen noted that the building had previously been designed as a concrete block building but, through a redesign undertaken to keep the project within the Town’s budget, the building was changed to be constructed out of steel.

“A new architect was brought in to work with the town’s engineer. Our town manager, Dianne Vogel, and others helped redesign it to what it is now,” he explained. “It’s basically a one-floor rectangular-shaped building that will accommodate the needs of the Ocean View Public Works Department, hopefully, into the future.”

The new building will also have storage space for equipment such as mowers, plow blades and mosquito spraying machines.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get some sort of rack system for some of the smaller equipment, where we can put things up on them so that they’re out of the way and they’re off of the floor.”

McMullen said he is excited that the Town’s maintenance workers will be able to move out of their current location at 6 Oakwood Avenue.

“It’ll be really nice for these guys to have a place that they can call home. Since I’ve been here, they’ve kind of been nomads — they’ve been moved from one location to another. When I first came, I’m not sure they even had a facility they worked out of,” he said. “Jared Steele, who has been with the Town for a number of years, he’s weathered the storm. I’m sure he’s quite excited to be moving into a facility that’s 21st century. The other employee is newer and hasn’t experienced the bad times that Jared has experienced. I’m sure he’ll be excited to have a nice new building to work out of where everything is in one place.”

McMullen said that, although they have been able to make the Oakwood Avenue location work, it’s not an ideal building, with asbestos siding, a lack of heating and sufficient lighting, and problems with leaks.

“It’s problematic,” he said. “It’s a very old building. The outbuildings that it has that we use currently are not up to standard. There’s really not a lot of room to move around and store things. We actually have things stored in a number of locations.

“This new building will help us combine everything into one location. That helps as far as expediency, being able to respond to calls we need to go out to.”

He added that, once the new building is complete and ready to be occupied, perhaps the Town will be able to use that Oakwood Avenue space for additional parking for John West Park.

“Perhaps we can have the Town raze the buildings there and create additional parking for the park. We’re always in need of more parking there for the park and all the activities that are held there. I think that would be a good thing for everybody.”

The Town received four complete bids for the project. They were reviewed by Kercher Engineering, which recommended the Town award the contract to GGI Builders. In their bid, GGI Builders’ base bid was $475,000, with the option of adding electronically operated overhead doors for an additional $5,842, which the council approved.

The Town budgeted $490,000 for the project and has currently spent $34,000 of that funding.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a very long time, and certainly something that’s been needed,” said Mayor Gordon Wood at the December meeting.

The building is being built behind the Town’s Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building, near the location where the police department formerly housed its trailers. The land was leased to the Town by the Freeman Companies for $1 per year, for 40 years, in 2011.

McMullen said he’s thankful for the help of Michelle Freeman and the council to make the building become a reality.

“I’m looking forward to Ocean View having a building that is representative of the town. It’s modern. We have this nice new building that we’re in, the Melson Municipal Building. Right down the road, the Freeman Corporation, Michelle Freeman, was gracious enough to give us a lease on their property where we can build a structure of this nature and help facilitate public works functions throughout the town. We certainly thank the Freeman Corporation — Michelle in particular — and the mayor for seeking her blessing in this project.”

McMullen said the Town hopes to have the building completed before the end of summer.